IS local leader killed, 6 captured by paramilitary force in western Iraq

Source: Xinhua| 2019-08-30 03:45:43|Editor: yan
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BAGHDAD, Aug. 29 (Xinhua) -- Iraq's paramilitary Hashd Shaabi force killed Thursday a prominent leader of Islamic State (IS) militant group and arrested six of his bodyguards in Iraq's western Anbar province.

An online statement by the Hashd Shaabi said a force from the 18th brigade conducted an operation in the desert area of Wadi Hauran in western Anbar province and killed Abdul-Salam Hamad, nicknamed Abu Nour, believed to be the IS leader for the capital Baghdad.

The force also captured Hamad's six bodyguards and wounded his aide, who blew up his explosive belt before being captured, the statement said without giving further details.

IS militants are known for exploiting the gorges of Wadi Hauran to set up hideouts and arms depots and use the area as a launching pad for attacks on civilians and security forces.

The operation came a day after the Iraqi forces backed by Iraqi and U.S.-led coalition aircraft concluded a major offensive dubbed "Victory Will" to hunt down remnants of IS militants in central Iraq.

The security situation in Iraq has been dramatically improved after Iraqi security forces fully defeated IS in late 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.