Iraqi troops have seized 70 explosive belts within an Islamic State hotbed at a village in Tikrit city, a police spokesman was quoted as saying.
Speaking to Alghad Press on Thursday, Spokesman for the Iraqi Interior Ministry Brigadier General Saad Maan said, “Acting upon accurate intelligence reports, Iraqi troops discovered an Islamic State hideout at Umm al Wohoosh village in northwestern Tikrit.”
“The shelter included 70 explosive belts, 45 bombs and 120 sticky bombs,” Maan added.
On Sunday, Islamic State members launched an attack against the ninth brigade of the Popular Mobilization Forces near al-Dour city, which left four personnel of the paramilitary troops killed and three others wounded. Three militants were also killed in the clashes.
Violence in the country has surged further with the emergence of Islamic State extremist militants who proclaimed an “Islamic Caliphate” in Iraq and Syria in 2014.
The surge in violence between armed groups and government forces has resulted in over 3 million internally displaced persons across Iraq and left more than 11 million in need of humanitarian assistance, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.
Iraqi forces, backed by a U.S.-led coalition and paramilitary troops, have been fighting since October 2016 to retake territories Islamic State had occupied. Since then, forces took back the group’s former capital, Mosul, the town of Tal Afar, Kirkuk’s Hawija, and Anbar’s Annah, Rawa and Qaim.