Iraqi security forces bust five-strong terrorist cell in southern Kirkuk

Iraqi special forces patrol in a street in Basra on September 8, 2018, after Iraq's Joint Operations Command, which includes the army and police, vowed a "severe" response with "exceptional security measures", including a ban on protests and group travel. (Photo by AFP)
Iraqi special forces patrol in a street in Basra on September 8, 2018, after Iraq’s Joint Operations Command, which includes the army and police, vowed a “severe” response with “exceptional security measures”, including a ban on protests and group travel. (Photo by AFP)

Iraqi security forces have disbanded a terrorist group in the southern part of the country’s oil-rich northern province of Kirkuk as government troops, backed by allied fighters from Popular Mobilization Units, are trying to purge the war-ravaged Arab country of the remnants of the Daesh Takfiri terrorist group.

Commander of the Federal Police Forces Lieutenant General Raed Shaker Jawdat told Arabic-language al-Ghad Press news agency that his forces arrested the terrorists were captured on charges of planting explosive devices in the Arab Koi area of the province.

He added that the arrested Takfiris have been handed over to relevant bodies to undergo interrogation.

Daesh militants blow up crude oil pipeline in Kirkuk

Meanwhile, Daesh militants have blown up an oil pipeline near Qaradara village of Kirkuk province.

Idris Rafaat, head of the Kirkuk Asayesh (security) forces, told Kurdish-language Rudaw television news network that Daesh terrorists carried out the attack with two bombs.

In this file photo taken on October 17, 2015, smoke billows from a refinery complex near the northern Iraqi town of Baiji, after Iraqi security forces and allied fighters recaptured the area from the Daesh Takfiri terrorist group. (Photo by AFP)

Rafaat added that a large fire is still burning at the site, and that fire fighters are working to bring the blaze under control.

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, who is also the commander-in-chief of Iraqi forces, pledged on June 30 to hunt down Daesh terrorists across Iraq after a series of attacks and abductions carried out by the terrorist group.

“We will chase the remaining cells of terrorism in their hideouts and we will kill them, we will chase them everywhere, in the mountains and the desert,” Abadi said.

Abadi declared the end of military operations against Daesh in the Arab country on December 9, 2017.

On July 10 that year, the Iraqi prime minister had formally declared victory over Daesh in Mosul, which served as the terrorists’ main urban stronghold in the conflict-ridden Arab country.

In the run-up to Mosul’s liberation, Iraqi army soldiers and volunteer Hashd al-Sha’abi fighters had made sweeping gains against Daesh.

Iraqi forces took control of eastern Mosul in January 2017 after 100 days of fighting, and launched the battle in the west on February 19 last year.

Daesh began a terror campaign in Iraq in 2014, overrunning vast swathes in lightning attacks.

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