Eight remnants of the "Islamic State of Iraq and Syria" (ISIS) were killed in a missile attack on their hideout in the mountain of Qara Jogh in Makhmour district, northern Iraq.
"Five terrorists were spotted in an intelligence effort riding three motorcycles in Qara Jogh within the Salaheddine Operations Command's sector," according to a Thursday (December 19th) statement by the Security Media Cell.
"After they entered a hideout in the mountain, a missile struck the site, killing all the members of the group," it said.
"Another group was spotted that came to the site of the strike to evacuate the bodies, and they were hit by a missile that left three terrorists dead," the statement noted.
"The continuous strikes and operations against ISIS remnants' hideouts in [Qara Jogh] by the Iraqi army's 14th Division have greatly diminished the terrorist elements' movements and activities," Makhmour governor Rizkar Mohammed told Diyaruna Friday.
They had been planting explosives on rural roads near the mountain and surrounding villages only a short time ago, he said.
"But for two weeks now, we have not recorded any terrorist act or suspicious movement," he said, adding that "the current security situation throughout the district and the al-Qaraj sub-district, where Qara Jogh mountain is located, is relatively good".
Service projects needed
Most of the residents of al-Qaraj "have been displaced for years, with camps in [Makhmour] district accommodating about 600 families, or up to 9,000 persons, mostly residents of remote villages", Mohammed said.
"Security concerns prevent many of those people from returning to their areas of origin," he said, but he stressed that "this was not the only obstacle".
"A lack of drinking water, poor electricity supply and degraded infrastructure are main factors in people's unwillingness to return," he said.
"The residents, whether those living in camps or the ones who have returned to their homes, are experiencing difficult conditions, especially with the low temperatures, lack of fuel supply, and the halt in the provision of ration card items for months," Mohammed said.
The local government has prepared a package of service projects to be funded from the regional development budget, he said.
"We hope that in the coming days, those projects will be launched and the state of services in our district will improve just like the security conditions have," he said.