15 IS militants killed in Iraqi airstrikes

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Baghdad, Sep 9 (IANS) At least 15 Islamic State (IS) militants were killed in Iraqi airstrikes on an IS-held areas in the country’s eastern province of Diyala, the Iraqi military said.

Iraqi aircraft carried out airstrikes on Friday on IS posts in Khalawiyah area near Himreen Lake, some 60 km northeast of Diyala’s provincial capital Baquba, leaving at least 15 IS militants killed, Lt. Gen. Mezhir al-Azzawi said.

The airstrikes resulted in the destruction of an IS vehicle, five motorcycles, five IS hideouts and the burning of two boats at the lake, said Azzawi whose command is responsible for the security in Diyala and other areas in eastern Iraq, Xinhua news agency reported.

Azzawi also said the troops under his command raided an apartment in Gatoon area in the east of Baquba, about 65 km northeast of the Iraqi capital of Baghdad, and seized two explosive vests, ammunition and explosives.

IS militants still control areas in Himreen mountainous area, including its Lake, in northern and eastern parts of Diyala.

The terror group also has a major redoubt in Mteibijah area on the provincial border with Salahudin Province, which extends to the sprawling rugged area from the western part of Salahudin to the desert in the neighbouring Anbar Province in western Iraq.

On August 31, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi declared full liberation of the city of Tal Afar and surrounding areas from the extremist IS militants.

The Iraqi forces are now preparing to wage another offensive in the IS-held town of Hawijah and surrounding areas in the west of the oil-rich province of Kirkuk.

–IANS

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