Two Kurdish security officers, five ISIS members die in Kirkuk encounter

Kirkuk – Two Kurdish fighters and five Islamic State members were killed Sunday in an attack by the extremist group on the K-1 military base, northeast of Kirkuk.

Shafaaq news website quoted an officer at Asayish, Kurdistan’s police force, saying that two security members were killed and six others were wounded. He added that three Islamic State members were killed by the security troops while two others blew themselves up at the base.

Kurdish fighters have been actively engaged in Iraq’s U.S.-backed military campaign against Islamic State militants since its launch in October 2014.

The campaign has so far cleared most of Islamic State’s major stronghold of Mosul, and further campaigns are planned later to retake other group havens.

Islamic State has stepped attacks against civilians and security members across Iraq, which observers believe is aimed at making up for losses in Mosul and distract assaulting security forces.

Iraqi commanders say Islamic State currently controls less than seven percent of Iraqi territories. One military official was recently quoted saying the group could be entirely eliminated from its biggest stronghold, Mosul, this May. The group has lost hundreds of its senior leaders since the beginning of military offensives.

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