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Islamic State attacks kill seven security forces in Iraq

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TIKRIT/SULAIMANIYA, Iraq (Reuters) – At least seven members of Iraq’s security forces were killed and 16 wounded overnight in two separate attacks by Islamic State militants, police said on Thursday.

Three members of the paramilitary Popular Mobilisation Forces (PMF) and two policemen were killed in an attack in the Sayed Gharib area north of Salahuddin province’s Dujail district, 50 km (30 miles) north of Baghdad, late on Wednesday, police said.

The PMF is an umbrella grouping of mostly Iran-backed Shi’ite militias that formally report to Iraq’s prime minister.

Separately, a mortar attack against Kurdish forces in Kola Jawi village of Sulaimaniya province’s Kalar district at midnight killed two members of the semi-autonomous Kurdistan Regional Government’s Asayish internal security forces and wounded 14, an Asayish source said.

Islamic Stare has not claimed responsibility for either attack.

Iraq declared victory over Islamic State, which once held large swathes of the country, in December 2017, but the hardline Sunni militants have since switched to hit-and-run attacks aimed at undermining the Baghdad government.

They have regrouped in the Hamrin mountain range in the northeast, which extends from Diyala province, on the border with Iran, crossing northern Salahuddin and southern Kirkuk province, an area security officials call a “triangle of death.”

(Reporting by Ghazwan Jubouri in Tikrit and Ali Sultan in Sulaimaniya; Writing by Ahmed Aboulenein; Editing by Raissa Kasolowsky)

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