BAGHDAD, Aug. 22 (Xinhua) -- Four Islamic State (IS) militants and two Iraqi soldiers were killed on Thursday when the Iraqi army repelled an attack on its position in the eastern province of Diyala, a local official said.
The extremist militants carried out an attack at dawn against an Iraqi army post in east of the town of Qara-Tappa, some 175 km northeast of Baghdad, but the soldiers fought back and killed four of the extremist militants, one of them was a suicide bomber, Wasfi al-Tamimi, mayor of Qara-Tappa, told Xinhua.
Two soldiers were also killed and three others wounded in the clash, said al-Tamimi, adding that the attackers fled the scene as reinforcement troops arrived and the situation is under control.
Despite repeated military operations in Diyala, IS remnants were still hiding in rugged areas near the border with Iran, as well as the sprawling areas extending from the 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 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 hit-and-run attacks against security forces and civilians.