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ERBIL – The Kurdish counter-terrorism forces arrested 45 militants of the Islamic State (ISIS) in Kirkuk province in northern Iraq, officials said on Wednesday.
The leadership of Asayish security force in Iraqi Kurdistan said in a statement: “Our counter-terrorism forces have arrested 45 members of the Daesh (ISIS) terrorist group after raiding suspect houses in Kirkuk city and surrounding areas on Tuesday midnight.”
Speaking to ARA News in Erbil, a Kurdish security official said that most of the suspects were residents of Kirkuk “who were planning to carry out suicide attacks against the Kurdish forces”.
“ISIS has created sleeper cells inside Kirkuk in order to conduct terrorist attacks against the Peshmerga headquarters in response to the group’s recent losses,” the source said on the condition of staying anonymous.
On Friday, Kurdish forces of the Peshmerga regained some eight villages that had been under ISIS control for months.
The Peshmerga has reportedly shelled ISIS strongholds in the Daquq district south of Kirkuk, forcing the militants to withdraw from some eight villages in the area.
“Our operation has caused heavy losses in ISIS’ ranks on Friday, where dozens of militants were killed, forcing the terrorist group to withdrew from several areas,” a Peshmerga source said. “Our forces found the corpses of 36 ISIS militants after the battles.”
Reporting by: Sarbaz Yousef
Source: ARA News