Mosul, IRAQ — Fourteen Islamic State members were arrested in operations carried out in south and west of Mosul, the Nineveh Police Command said on Monday.
In a statement, Maj. Gen. Hamad Namis al-Jabouri, the commander, said, “Nineveh police arrested, today, eleven Islamic State members in al-Haramat region, west of Mosul,” Iraqi News reports.
Earlier today, Jabouri said “Police arrested three members in Hammam al-Alil region, south of Mosul.”
Earlier today, the Iraqi army, backed by pro-government troops, killed six ISIS militants at Hawijat al-Marir village, south of Mosul.
On Sunday, Maj.Gen. Saad Maan, spokesperson for the Interior Ministry, said troops arrested five ISIS members in al-Tanak district, west of Mosul, while two others were arrested in ambushes set in Qayyarah and Hammam al-Alil regions, south of Mosul.
Adnan al-Tamimi, head of Maqdadiah council, told Alsumaria News that a security force found a mass grave near al-Zur Basin (10 miles to the north of Maqdadiah).
He revealed that only the remains of five people have been found so far, adding that they were transferred to medical examiners to identify them, Iraqi News reports.
Diyala’s borders with neighboring Salahuddin had served as a hotspot for Islamic State militant activity, and launching point for attacks against civilians and security troops.over the past years.
As Iraqi troops recaptured areas held by Islamic State militants since 2014, they have regularly run into mass graves of civilians and security agents executed by militants over accusations of fleeing the group’s havens or collaborating with security forces.
Iraq’s war against the Islamic State displaced millions of civilians both inside and outside the country, and left thousands dead.
ISIS has become notorious for its brutality, including mass killings, abductions and beheadings, prompting the U.S. to lead an international coalition to destroy it.
The Iraqi capital has seen almost daily bombings and armed attacks against security members, paramilitary troops and civilians since the Iraqi government launched a wide-scale campaign to retake Islamic State-occupied areas in 2016.
Iraq declared victory over Islamic State last December, ending a three-year war to bring down the group’s self-styled “caliphate” declared from Nineveh’s Mosul in 2014. Security continues to comb recaptured areas for remnant cells as a number of attacks against civilians and security grew fears of their resurgence.