Four Iraqi police killed, five injured in IS attacks north of Baghdad
Four Iraqi police officers were killed and five others injured early on Wednesday morning in attacks by Islamic State group militants on checkpoints in Salah al-Din and Diyala provinces north of Baghdad, according to Iraqi news agencies.
Security sources said the IS militants withdrew after killing four and injuring five police officers and before reinforcements from the Iraqi army arrived.
The attacks come amid increased military operations by the Iraqi army against IS in north-central Iraq.
Iraqi forces are currently engaged in the fourth stage of an operation known as "Strong Will" to clear the Qarah Dagh mountains in Nineveh province of IS militants.
The 14th and 16th battalions of the Iraqi army, supported by Kurdish Peshmerga forces are taking part in the operation.
On Tuesday, Iraqi National Security Advisor Qasim Al-Araji met with the head of the NATO mission to Iraq, General Giovanni Iannucci, and said that IS remained a threat in Iraq.
Araji emphasised "the need to benefit from NATO’s expertise" in order to counter the threat from IS.
The extremist group was territorially defeated in Iraq in 2017 and in Syria in 2019 but IS cells continue to operate in both countries.