Four paramilitary Hashd Shaabi members were killed in two attacks by Islamic State (IS) militants in the provinces of Kirkuk and Diyala of Iraq, local police sources said on Thursday.
In the northern province of Kirkuk, IS militants attacked in the morning a Hashd Shaabi base in al-Bashir area, south of the provincial capital city of Kirkuk, some 250 km north of Baghdad, Maj. Taha al-Obaidi told Xinhua.
Fierce clashes erupted between the two sides resulting in the killing of three Hashd Shaabi members, al-Obaidi said, adding that one of the attackers was also killed and two others were wounded.
In the eastern province of Diyala, IS militants attacked late on Wednesday night Hashd Shaabi checkpoints in Udhaim area in the north of the provincial capital Baquba, some 65 km northeast of Baghdad, sparking clashes which resulted in the killing of a Hashd Shaabi member and the wounding of three others, Maj. Alaa al-Saadi from Diyala’s provincial police told Xinhua.
The attacks came as the IS militants have intensified their attacks on the security forces, including Hashd Shaabi forces, and civilians in the formerly IS-controlled Sunni provinces, resulting in the killing and wounding of dozens.
The security situation in Iraq has been improving since Iraqi security forces fully defeated the IS militants across the country late in 2017. However, IS remnants have since melted in urban areas or deserts and rugged areas, carrying out frequent guerilla attacks against security forces and civilians.