59 IS militants killed in airstrikes, clashes in Iraq

A total of 59 Islamic State (IS) militants were killed Wednesday in clashes with Iraqi security forces and air strikes against their positions across the country, security sources said.

Baghdad: A total of 59 Islamic State (IS) militants were killed Wednesday in clashes with Iraqi security forces and air strikes against their positions across the country, security sources said.

In Iraq`s eastern province of Diyala, Iraqi army soldiers backed by Shia militias carried out an offensive on IS positions in Mansouriyah area, some 100 km northeast of Iraq`s capital Baghdad, and fought fierce clashes with the extremist militants, leaving at least 12 militants dead, a provincial security source told Xinhua on condition of anonymity.

Also in Diyala, the security forces clashed with IS militants in Albu-Talha area in the northeastern part of the province and killed 15 militants, along with destroying six of their vehicles, the source said.

In Anbar province, Iraqi security forces backed by US-led coalition aircraft repelled in the early hours of the day an attack carried out by dozens of IS militants who tried to storm the town of al-Baghdadi, some 200 km northwest of Baghdad, a provincial security source told Xinhua, adding that at least 13 militants were killed and nine of their vehicles were destroyed in the battles and the air strikes.

Since December last year, insurgent attacks continue in the Sunni Arab heartland in west of Baghdad that stretches through Anbar province, which has been the scene of fierce clashes that flared up after Iraqi police dismantled an anti-government protest site outside the city of Ramadi.

In Salahudin province, Iraqi warplanes carried out an airstrike on the house of Abdullah al-Annag, a senior IS leader, during a meeting of local IS leaders in his house, just west of the town of Dhuluiyah, some 90 km north of Baghdad, a provincial security source told Xinhua.

The air strike destroyed the house and left nine IS group leaders killed, the source said citing intelligence reports.

In addition, Iraqi warplanes carried out an air strike on an IS militant position west of the city of Samarra, some 120 km north of Baghdad, killing 10 militants, destroying two vehicles with heavy machine guns and destroying a large cache of weapons and explosives, the source added.

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