BAGHDAD, Nov. 25 (Xinhua) -- The Iraqi forces, backed by U.S.-led coalition, killed on Monday five Islamic State (IS) militants, including a group leader, in Iraq's northern province of Kirkuk, the Iraqi military said.
A statement by the Iraqi Interior Ministry's intelligence force, named al-Suqour Cell, said that the force conducted a joint operation with the international coalition forces in Hawijah area, in the southwestern part of Kirkuk province.
It said the troops destroyed three IS hideouts, leaving five IS militants killed inside. One of the killed was a local group leader named Abu Bara.
The operations also resulted in the capturing a wounded IS militants in one of the hideouts, in addition to finding an explosive belt, explosive devices and hand grenades, as well as assault rifles inside the hideouts, according to the statement.
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.