BAGHDAD, Feb. 18 (Xinhua) — Three paramilitary Hashd Shaabi members were killed and five others wounded in an attack by militants of extremist Islamic State (IS) group in Diyala province in eastern Iraq, a security source said on Thursday.
The deadly violence took place late on Wednesday night when IS militants attacked the outposts of Hashd Shaabi’s 28th Brigade near the town of Khanaqin, some 165 km northeast of the Iraqi capital Baghdad, Alaa al-Saadi from the provincial police told Xinhua.
The attack sparked a fierce clash between the two sides, and there are no immediate reports about casualties among the attackers, al-Saadi said.
Early Thursday, a joint force from the Iraqi army, police and Hashd Shaabi conducted a search operation to track down the attackers who fled the scene to a nearby rugged area, al-Saadi added.
Despite repeated military operations in Diyala, remnants of IS militants are still hiding in some rugged areas near the border with Iran, and in the vast areas extending from the western part of the province to the Hamreen mountain range in the north of the provincial capital Baquba, about 65 km northeast of Baghdad.
The security situation has been relatively improved in Iraq since the Iraqi security forces fully defeated IS militants across the country late in 2017.
However, sporadic deadly incidents still occurred in the war-ravaged country as IS remnants have since melted into urban areas or deserts and rugged areas, waging frequent guerilla attacks against security forces and civilians. Enditem