BAGHDAD, Nov. 21 (Xinhua) -- A total of seven security members were killed on Saturday in an attack by gunmen, believed to be militants of the extremist Islamic State (IS) group, in the province of Salahudin, a provincial police source said.
The attack took place in the evening when a joint force of Iraqi police and government-backed Sunni paramilitary fighters of a group known as Sahwa, or Awakening Council, spotted a roadside bomb and tried to defuse it on a road near al-Zuyiah village in the north of the town of Baiji, some 200 km north of Baghdad, Col. Mohammed al-Bazi told Xinhua.
The force received heavy arms fire from the nearby Makhoul Mountain sparking a fierce clash with the gunmen, which resulted in the killing of a police officer, two policemen, and four paramilitary fighters, al-Bazi said.
Two policemen were also wounded by the attack of the gunmen, who fled the scene and disappeared into the mountainous area, al-Bazi added.
The attack came as the extremist IS militants have intensified their attacks on the security 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