Security

Iraqi forces kill 4 ISIS elements in al-Hawija

By Khalid al-Taie

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Iraqi police conduct a sweep of villages in al-Hawija to search for 'Islamic State of Iraq and Syria' remnants. [Photo courtesy of the Iraqi Federal Police Command]

Iraqi police on Sunday (September 2nd) killed four "Islamic State of Iraq and Syria" (ISIS) militants during a search operation on the outskirts of al-Hawija district, western Kirkuk province.

The operation, which took place in al-Hawija's al-Riyadh neighbourhood, led to the uncovering of a network of tunnels that connected two rest houses, as well as another rest house used by the militants as a "command centre", Federal Police Chief Lt. Gen. Raed Shaker Jawdat said in a statement.

The latest operation is part of ongoing joint operations by Federal and provincial police forces to uncover and deter terror remnants, said Director of Media and Relations in the Kirkuk Police Command Col. Afrasiao Kamil Weis.

"Search operations for terrorist strongholds and cells are ongoing," he told Diyaruna on Wednesday.

Federal and local police forces have combed several areas and villages in al-Hawija and the outskirts of Kirkuk over the past few days, he said, noting that they have uncovered a number of rest houses and killed or arrested several ISIS elements.

"Terrorists are falling one by one in the hands of the police," he said, adding that they are no longer able to hide in the same place for long periods of time.

Weis played down media reports of nocturnal activity by the militants, particularly on the outskirts of Kirkuk province.

"These reports are exaggerated," he said. "Our forces carry out their duties day and night and do not leave any opportunity for the terrorists to move freely in any area."

"Our forces and the Federal Police's 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th divisions are fulfilling their responsibilities to the fullest," he added.

"[The militants] are few in numbers and disconnected," Weis said, adding that "they are not capable of carrying out major attacks".

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