Salahuddin – Iraqi troops killed, Thursday, 45 Islamic State militants and arrested five others, north of Salahuddin province, Petra News Agency reported.
“Iraqi army troops thwarted an attack by IS militants against a security site in Shirqat town,” Col. Ali al-Shemari told Petra. “Troops responded killing 45 fighters and arresting five others.”
On Wednesday, Ali al-Dawdah, mayor of Shirqat, was quoted as saying that four IS militants, two tribal fighters and a civilian were killed as government and tribal forces repelled an attack by the group militants, who sneaked into the western side of the town to other villages in the province.
The province has seen an escalation in IS attacks against security troops.
Despite recapturing large areas of there since the group emerged in 2014, observers believe the group could still pose a security threat.
The eastern coast of Shirqat, which lies on the west bank of the Tigris river in Salahuddin province, is still under the IS control, while the western coast was liberated last year. It’s believed that the group has been launching there setting off from Hawija, its stronghold in neighboring Kirkuk.
Pivotal regions that link between each of Diyala, Salahuddin and Kirkuk, are still held by IS posing threats to the liberated regions.