Iraqi military denies reports that clashes erupted between security forces and PMF

File – Iraqi soldiers wear protective face masks (Reuters)

SULAIMANI (ESTA) — The Iraqi military denied reports that clashes broke out between an army unit and Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) in Saladin on Saturday (October 17).

Iraqi media reported that four members of Asaib Ahl al-Haq in clashes with the Iraqi forces in Balad district in Saladin on Saturday evening after a unit of the Iraqi army was deployed to Farhatiya town in the province, where 12 civilians were kidnapped by unidentified militants.

The Iraqi security forces later found bodies of eight of the abductees in an area in the province, according to the Saladin government.

“The Joint Operations Command denies what some media outlets and social media have reported about clashes between the security forces and another force from the PMF in Balad district in Saladin governorate,” Iraqi Security Media Cell said in a statement.

To investigate the incident, Kadhimi accompanied by ministers of defense and interior, Hashid al-Shaabi chairman, chief of staff of the army and deputy commander of joint operations arrived in Saladin on Sunday morning to hold a meeting with security and military officials in the governorate.

Kadhimi, who is also Commander-in-Chief of Armed Forces, said he visited the province to “confirm that the state is in place to protect the security of citizens and establish pillars of law, especially after the heinous crime that Saladin recently witnessed,” his office said in a statement.

“The state will protect you,” Kadhimi said in remarks to the province’s citizens.

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