The Iraqi security forces have killed three Islamic State (IS) militants and arrested eight others, including two of the group's local leaders. A statement issued by the Iraqi Counter-Terrorism Service (CTS) said that its forces shot dead an IS militant and arrested another in a raid on a village south of the northern city of Kirkuk, some 250 km north of the Iraqi capital Baghdad, Xinhua news agency reported. Meanwhile, the CTS forces arrested five IS militants, four of them are non-Iraqi nationals, in an operation in the city of Kirkuk, the statement said. The CTS forces also arrested two leaders of the extremist organization, one in the Abu Ghraib area, west of Baghdad, and the other at the crossing point on the Iraqi-Syrian border in the west of the country.
In Iraq's eastern province of Diyala, military helicopter gunships pounded two IS hideouts in eastern and northern parts of the province, killing one IS militant in each hideout, a provincial security source told Xinhua on condition of anonymity. Over the past few months, Iraqi security forces have conducted operations against the 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, the IS remnants have since melted into urban centers, deserts and rugged areas, carrying out frequent guerilla attacks against the security forces and civilians.