Baghdad, June 20 (IANS) Iraqi government forces backed by air power have engaged militants from the Islamic State terrorist group during various clean-up operations across the crisis-hit country and killed at least 182 extremists.
According to a statement released by the Iraqi defence ministry on Friday, a total of 124 IS militants died when Iraqi security forces, supported by military aircraft, struck the terrorist positions in the northern provinces of Kirkuk and Salahuddin as well as the troubled western province of Anbar, a report on Press TV said on Saturday.
Iraqi army soldiers also launched mop-up operations in the town of al-Tarmiyah, situated some 30 km north of the capital, Baghdad. Government forces killed 25 IS members, arrested 17 others, cleared three booby-trapped houses and defused seven improvised explosive devices following heavy clashes. The extremists were reportedly planning to carry out acts of terror north and west of Baghdad.
Violence has plagued the northern and western parts of Iraq ever since the IS launched an offensive in June 2014, and took control of portions of Iraqi territory. Units of army soldiers coupled with volunteer fighters are seeking to win back militant-held regions in joint operations.