Iraqi troops arrest Islamic State’s intelligence official, two others in Kirkuk

Iraqi troops arrested on Wednesday three members of Islamic State, including a senior intelligence official, during a security campaign in southwestern Kirkuk, a police chief was quoted as saying.

“The 19th brigade launched a security operation in southwestern Kirkuk, arresting three IS terrorists,” Ayn Al Iraq News website quoted Federal Police Chief Raed Shawkat Gawdat as saying.

“Among those arrested was a senior Islamic State intelligence official, who was responsible for providing the terrorists with information about citizens to kidnap them,” Gawdat noted.

Iraqi security forces, backed by paramilitary troops of al-Hashd al-Shaabi and Peshmerga fighters, had launched a military operation dubbed Martyrs’ Revenge to chase Islamic State militants at their hotbeds in Kirkuk, Diyala and Salahuddin provinces.

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi declared last December final victory over Islamic State three years after the militant group captured about a third of Iraq’s territory.

In a speech during the international media conference held at the journalists syndicate in Baghdad, Abadi said, “Our troops gained full control on the Iraqi-Syrian borders. We announce the end of war against Islamic State.”

Abadi’s announcement came two days after Russia announced a similar victory over Islamic State militants in neighboring Syria. Abadi declared Dec. 10 an annual national holiday on this occasion.

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