Iraqi soldier, 2 IS militants killed in clashes near Baghdad

A soldier and two Islamic State (IS) militants were killed in clashes north of the Iraqi capital Baghdad, the Iraqi military said.

Based on intelligence reports, an Iraqi army force attacked an IS hideout in dense orchards in the Tarmiyah area, nearly 30 km north of Baghdad, the media office of the Iraqi Joint Operations Command (JOC) said in a statement on Saturday.

During the clashes, the force killed two IS militants, one of whom was wearing an explosive belt, while a soldier was killed and an officer was injured, the statement added.

On Saturday, Iraqi fighter jets carried out two airstrikes on an IS hideout in a rural area in Iraq’s eastern province of Diyala, destroying the hideout, the JOC said in a separate statement.

The statement gave no further details about casualties, adding more information to be released later, Xinhua news agency reported.

Over the past months, Iraqi security forces have conducted operations against extremist militants to crack down on their intensified activities.

The security situation in Iraq has been improving since the defeat of the IS in 2017. However, its remnants have since melted into urban centres, deserts, and rugged areas, carrying out frequent guerilla attacks against security forces and civilians.

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