Militants from the Islamic State terror group killed at least seven Iraqi security forces and injured 16 more in two separate attacks late Wednesday night, Iraqi police have reported.
In the first attack, ISIS fighters killed three military security personnel and two policemen in the town of Dujail in the Salahuddin district, some 30 miles north of Baghdad.
The officials were members of a security force known as the popular mobilization forces (PMF), mostly composed of Iranian-backed Shiites. This group serves directly under the Iraqi Prime Minister.
In a separate attack, militants fired a mortar into the village of Kola Jawi at midnight, killing two security guards of the Northern Iraqi Regional Administration and injuring an additional 14 people.
The Islamic State has not yet officially claimed responsibility for the attacks.
In December 2017, Iraq declared victory over the Islamic State, yet ISIS militants in the country still continue to attack the Baghdad government.
Reports suggest that ISIS has begun to recover within the territory of Iraq. The Islamic State had previously declared the city of Mosul as the capital of its so-called caliphate.
The militants have regrouped in the Hamrin mountain range in the northeast, Reuters reported, an area dubbed the “triangle of death” by security officials. The range extends from the Iran border across northern Salahuddin and southern Kirkuk provinces.
U.N. experts said this week that ISIS leaders are attempting to consolidate for an “eventual resurgence in its Iraqi and Syrian heartlands.”
In a report to the Security Council this week, the analysts said that ISIS has made more headway in Iraq, where most of the Islamic State’s leadership, including Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, and are currently based.
Meanwhile, in Syria, ISIS has extended its covert network while establishing sleeper cells at the provincial level, they said, similar measures to those employed in Iraq since 2017.