Kirkuk (IraqiNews.com) Iraqi troops have killed 80 Islamic State militants during the last three weeks as operations continue to clear Kirkuk from remnant militants, a commander was quoted saying in a statement on Thursday.
Abu Hossam al-Sahlani, commander of Kirkuk operations at the Popular Mobilization Forces, said troops killed 80 members of the extremist group over the past 20 days.
He said the troops have also managed to seize large quantities of ammunition the group was using for terrorist plots.
Iraqi troops reinforced their presence in Kirkuk and launched operations to purge the province from remaining militant cells following an ambush set up by the militants in mid February left 27 mobilization members dead mid February.
Iraq declared victory over Islamic State militants and the recapture of all of the group’s strongholds in December, but forces continue to hunt for remnant militants hiding at desert areas. IS militants have also staged occasional attacks against civilians and security forces, which stoked fears that the group my still pose a security menace even after security forces had retaken all of its strongholds.
In October, Iraqi forces took over Kirkuk from Kurdish Peshmerga groups which held the province since the emergence of IS militants in 2014.