7 IS militants killed in airstrikes in Iraq’s Salahudin

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BAGHDAD, Aug 23, 2018 (BSS/Xinhua) – Seven Islamic State (IS) militants
were killed Wednesday in airstrikes targeting their positions at a rugged
area in Iraq’s central province of Salahudin, a provincial police source
said.

The Iraqi aircraft carried out airstrikes on IS hotbed of Mteibijah, a
rugged area in the eastern part of the province, killing seven IS militants
and destroying two of their hideouts, two tunnels and two motorcycles,
Mohammed al-Bazi, from Salahudin provincial media office, told Xinhua.

The Iraqi security forces repeatedly tried to retake control of Mteibijah,
but the vast rugged land and mountains have made it difficult for them to
dislodge the extremist militants from the region.

Hundreds of IS militants earlier fled their former bases in the key cities
of Salahudin, including the provincial capital Tikrit, some 170 km north of
Baghdad, after the Iraqi forces cleared these areas during major anti-IS
offensives.

Late in 2017, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, also the commander-in-
chief of Iraqi forces, officially declared full liberation of Iraq from IS
militants after Iraqi forces recaptured all the areas once seized by the
extremist group.

However, some IS remnants have since melted in urban areas or fled to
deserts and rugged areas in the country, carrying out attacks from time to
time against security forces and civilians.

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