Iraqi troops have targeted a fake checkpoint set by Islamic State to abduct civilians, near Mosul, a security source said on Thursday.
“The operation was carried out on the road linking between Hatra and Mosul, based on intelligence information,” the source told the Turkish Anadolu agency.
“Joint security troops, backed by special combat forces from the Rapid Response (Interior Ministry) managed to kill all of the 17 militants before they escape.”
Fake identities were possessed by the militants, the source said, “in addition to possessing developed telecommunications devices and different kinds of weapons.”
Thousands of Islamic State militants as well as Iraqi civilians were killed since the government campaign, backed by paramilitary troops and the coalition was launched in October 2016 to fight the militant group, which declared a self-styled “caliphate” from Mosul in June 2014. Many suspects were arrested over links with Islamic State, since the city was recaptured from the group in July 2017.
In December, the Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi announced gaining control on all the territories that were captured by Islamic State, since 2014. However, the group still has dormant cells, through which it carries out attacks, across Iraq like it used to do before 2014.