Iraqi counter-terrorism forces detain two ISIS members in Kirkuk

File – Members of Iraqi Security Forces are pictured in Kirkuk (Anadolu Agency)

SULAIMANI (ESTA) — Iraqi counter-terrorism forces arrested two members of Islamic State (ISIS) in Kirkuk governorate, a military spokesman said on Tuesday.

Major General Yehia Rasool, spokesman for commander-in-chief of the armed forces, said the counter-terrorism forces carried out an operation in three different areas in Kirkuk and Baghdad on Tuesday.

The counter-terrorism forces detained two ISIS militants during the operations in Kirkuk, Rasool said in a statement.

“A unit of the counter-terrorism forces also dismantled an explosive device planted by ISIS terrorist gangs to target a military convoy of the Iraqi security forces,” he added.

In the operation in Baghdad, another unit of the counter-terrorism forces seized ammunition and 48 mines, he noted.

Recently, Iraqi forces have stepped up efforts to detain ISIS militants in the provinces of Kirkuk, Saladin, Nineveh, Anbar and Baghdad. The security forces have detained and killed dozens of ISIS members in the past weeks.

On Sunday, Iraqi intelligence service said its forces had arrested an ISIS leader in Kirkuk. It also said on Saturday that two women were detained in Kirkuk over links to the militant group.

Iraq declared victory over Islamic State in December 2017 but the militants have regrouped in the Hamrin mountain range which extends into the northern provinces – an area described by officials as a “triangle of death”.

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