Colonel Mohammed al-Bazi, a provincial police source, said members of the Federal Police force and pro-government fighters – more commonly known by the Arabic name Hashd al-Sha’abi – engaged in a fierce exchange of gunfire with Daesh Takfiris in a rural area west of Shirqat town, located some 280 kilometers north of the capital Baghdad, early on Saturday.
Bazi added that Iraqi soldiers and their allies managed to fatally shoot Salih Karkaz, wanted by Iraqi forces as the leader of the so-called Nahavand Battalion.
Over two dozen Daesh terrorists captured northwest of Mosul
Meanwhile, at least 26 Daesh terrorists have been arrested during a counter-terrorism operation near Badush village, situated 24 kilometers west of Mosul, Presstv reported.
Captain Omar Sabah of the Nineveh Operations Command said Iraqi security forces also seized weapons and hand grenades from the captured Takfiris.
Sabah added that the extremists have been transferred to prison, awaiting trial.
Daesh terrorists murder Hashd Sha’abi cmdr., family
Elsewhere in the Khuwair village of the northern province of Nineveh, Daesh terrorists executed a senior Hashd al-Sha’abi commander and seven members of his family.
A security source, speaking on condition of anonymity, told Arabic-language Baghdad Today news website that the Takfiri militants, disguised as security forces, stormed the house of Hussein al-Hamad, shooting him, his wife, five children and his father to death.
The source added that Iraqi army troops and police forces have been dispatched to the village, and launched an operation to capture the perpetrators.
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.