Anbar, IRAQ – Security forces found bodies of eight Islamic State militants believed to be killed by the terrorist group’s chief Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, Iraqi authorities said.
“The bodies were found shot in the head in the area between Haditha and Hit districts in Anbar,” security sources told Shafaq News website.
The sources noted that the militants are believed to be on the hit list issued by al-Baghdadi two weeks ago.
Iraqi intelligence reports earlier claimed that Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi issued an order to kill hundreds of his followers, including leading figures, in Iraq and Syria over their disloyalty to the group, Iraqi News reports.
The reports came at a critical time as the extremist group lost about 90% of the territory it controlled in Iraq and Syria in 2014, when it declared its “caliphate”.
Intelligence sources said that the world’s most wanted man “issued an order to kill 320 of his followers for their betrayal of the so-called Islamic State and their recklessness, a matter which inflicted heavy losses on the group in both Iraq and Syria.”
According to the sources, there are high-profile commanders on Baghdadi’s list, including Abu al-Baraa al-Ansari, Sief al-Din al-Iraqi, Abu Otham al-Tal Afari, Abu Iman al-Mowahed and Marawan Hadid al-Suri.
Meanwhile in Nineveh, The Iraqi Interior Ministry announced on Sunday that its security forces killed five Islamic State militants, who were hiding inside two tunnels in Mosul city, Iraqi News reports.
In a statement received by Shafaq News, spokesperson for the Security Media Center Brigadier General Yehia Rasool said that “federal police, backed by troops from the Joint Operations Command, managed to kill five IS members inside two tunnels in Wadi Zainia area in Mosul.”
“According to intelligence reports, this terrorist group was planning to target innocent civilians,” Rasool added.
Islamic State declared a self-styled “caliphate” in a third of Iraq and neighboring Syria in 2014. A government campaign, backed by a U.S.-led international coalition and paramilitary forces, was launched in 2016 to retake IS-held regions, managing to retake all havens, most notably the city of Mosul, the group’s previously proclaimed capital.
A total of 90 Iraqi civilians were killed, while 117 others were injured due to acts of violence and terrorism during the month of August, according to the monthly count by the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI).
Islamic State continues to launch sporadic attacks across Iraq against troops. Security reports indicate that the militant group still poses a threat against stability in the country.
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