Dozens of IS militants killed in air raid: Iraqi forces

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Baghdad, July 23 (IANS) Iraqi forces have said dozens of Islamic State (IS) militants were killed in an air raid conducted by the Iraqi Air Force in the Anbar Province.

Iraqi jet fighters carried out the air raid against two IS-controlled towns in western Anbar bordering Syria, said the Iraqi Joint Operations Command (JOC) in a statement on Saturday, Xinhua news agency reported.

According to the intelligence body, the Iraqi forces bombarded an IS command base, two weapons and ammunition warehouses, and a car bomb factory, killing dozens of IS militants.

The statement did not mention the exact time of the air raid.

On July 10, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi formally declared that Mosul, the last stronghold of the IS in Iraq, was liberated from IS control after nine months of fierce fighting.

On the following day, Iraqi local media reported the death of its top leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in a Russian airstrike in Syria.

However, US Defence Secretary Jim Mattis said on Friday that he believed al-Baghdadi was still alive.

Mosul in northern Iraq had been seized by IS since June 2014.

–IANS

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