BAGHDAD, April 30 (Xinhua) -- The Iraqi paramilitary Hashd Shaabi on Thursday killed seven Islamic State (IS) militants in an operation in Salahudin province in north of Baghdad.
A force of the Hashd Shaabi, backed by the Iraqi army's helicopter gunships, launched an operation to hunt down the IS militants in several areas near the Himreen mountain range in the province, the Hashd Shaabi said in a statement.
The troops found five IS hideouts and killed seven IS militants, as well as seizing the militants' weapons and explosives, it added.
Despite repeated military operations against the IS remnants, IS militants are still hiding in the Himreen mountain range which cover three provinces of Diyala, Salahudin and Kirkuk.
Earlier, the Iraqi Joint Operations Command said in a statement that a total of 135 IS militants have been killed in Iraq during the period from Jan. 1 to April 15, during 1,060 anti-IS operations by the Iraqi security forces.
It said that up to 88 security members and 82 civilians were also killed by the IS militants during the same period.
The security situation in Iraq has been improving since Iraqi security forces fully defeated the IS militants across the country late in 2017.
However, IS remnants have since melted in urban areas or resorted to deserts and rugged areas, carrying out frequent guerilla attacks against security forces and civilians. Enditem