BAGHDAD, Sept. 19 (Xinhua) -- Four Islamic State (IS) militants and a member of the paramilitary Hashd Shaabi forces, were killed on Saturday in an operation to hunt down the IS militants in Iraq's Salahudin province, a provincial police source said.
The deaths were part of casualties of the operation launched in the morning in Ganous islands in the Tigris River near the town of Shirqat, some 280 km north of the Iraqi capital Baghdad, by the Iraqi forces and supported by the Iraqi and international coalition aircraft, Col. Mohammed al-Bazi told Xinhua.
The operation also resulted in the wounding of four policemen and the destroying of several IS hideouts, in addition to the seizing of weapons, ammunition, and other equipment, al-Bazi said.
Ganous islands are covered with dense plants scattered in the Tigris River and are part of the IS strongholds in Salahudin province.
The attacks came as the extremist IS militants have intensified their attacks on the security forces, including Hashd Shaabi forces, and civilians in the formerly IS-controlled Sunni provinces, resulting in the killing and wounding of dozens.
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 deserts and rugged areas, carrying out frequent guerilla attacks against security forces and civilians. Enditem