BAGHDAD, June 26 (Xinhua) -- Five Iraqi federal policemen were killed on Wednesday in a roadside bomb explosion in the country's northern province of Kirkuk, a security official said.
The incident took place in the early morning when a roadside bomb, apparently planted by Islamic State (IS) militants, detonated on a federal police patrol on a highway near the town of al-Rashad in south the provincial capital Kirkuk, which itself located some 250 km north of Baghdad, Salih al-Obeidi from the provincial police told Xinhua.
The explosion destroyed a police vehicle, killing four policemen and an officer aboard, al-Obeidi said.
Iraq security forces cordoned off the area and launched a search operation looking for the attackers, al-Obeidi added.
The security situation in Iraq was dramatically improved after Iraqi security forces fully defeated the extremist 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.