BAGHDAD, June 19 (Xinhua) -- A total of six Islamic State (IS) militants were killed on Wednesday in an airstrike and an ambush in the Iraqi provinces of Nineveh and Diyala.
In the northern province of Nineveh, a force from the paramilitary Hashd Shaabi units acted on intelligence reports and ambushed four IS militants in al-Baaj area, in the west of the city of Mosul near the Syrian border, a Hashd Shaabi statement said.
The paramilitary members clashed with the IS militants and killed them all, the statement added.
In Iraq's eastern province of Diyala, an Iraqi army's gunship carried out an airstrike in the village of Mkheisa, some 95 km northeast of the Iraqi capital Baghdad, a statement by the media office of the Iraqi Joint Operations Command said.
The airstrike resulted in the killing of two IS militants and the destruction of their vehicle and a hideout in the area, the statement added.
Despite repeated military operations in Diyala, remnants of IS militants were still hiding in rugged areas near the border with Iran, as well as the sprawling areas extending from western part of Diyala to Himreen mountainous area in the northern part of the province.
The security situation in Iraq was dramatically improved after Iraqi security forces fully defeated the extremists IS militants across the country late in 2017.
IS remnants, however, have since melted in urban areas or resorted to deserts and rugged areas as safe havens, carrying out frequent guerilla attacks against security forces and civilians.