Security forces launch anti-IS offensive in northern Iraq

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Kiruk, April 11 (IANS) Iraqi security forces on Sunday launched an offensive to flush out Islamic State (IS) terrorists from a Shia Turkoman village in the country’s northern province of Kirkuk, a provincial security source told Xinhua.

The troops and allied paramilitary units, known as Hashd Shaabi, advanced in the morning toward Basheer village from the north and the west, Xinhua quoted a source as saying.

Heavy clashes erupted in and around the village, some 220 km north of Baghdad, the source said.

So far, the troops have made slow progress due to large number of roadside bombs leading to the IS-held village, the source said, adding that the roadside bombs killed four Hashd Shaabi members and wounded 22 others.

Meanwhile, IS terrorists also pushed a booby-trapped military truck and a tanker truck loaded with explosives to attack the positions of Hashd Shaabi members, leaving six of them killed and 28 others wounded, the source said.

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The clashes continued into the night as the terrorists sustained heavy casualties among their fighters and vehicles, the source added.

Iraqi security forces and allied Sunni paramilitary tribal units have been battling IS terrorits to repossess control of large territories in northern and western Iraq, seized by the IS since June 2014.

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