Iraqi security forces kill five Islamic State militants in operation in Iraq

BAGHDAD : According to the Iraqi military, five militants from the radical Islamic State (IS) group were killed during a three-day security operation in Iraq's eastern province of Diyala. The Iraqi forces, backed by the country's aircraft, launched a major operation on Sunday morning in the Himreen mountain range in the north of the provincial capital Baquba, nearly 65 kilometres northeast of Baghdad, according to Yahia Rasoul, Spokesperson for the Commander-in-Chief of the Iraqi forces.

The troops found 23 IS hideouts and killed five IS militants, as well as seizing several weapons and equipment, while Iraqi jets carried out 14 airstrikes on IS strongholds in the hilly terrain.

Meanwhile, Diyala Operations Command's Lt. Col. Raad al-Shammari told Xinhua that one of the operation's goals was to track down IS militants who kidnapped Colonel Yasser al-Jourani, the head of a passport office in Baghdad, and three of his friends while on a hunting trip in a rugged area of Diyala province several days ago.

According to al-Shammari, Iraqi soldiers found two bodies during the operation, both of whom were al-companions, Jourani's while the third is still missing, according to the report. Rasoul confirmed that al-Jourani was also slain by IS militants after the IS group claimed responsibility for al-death Jourani's and released a statement and photos of the execution on the internet.

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