6 prominent IS members arrested in Iraq

Security forces in Iraq. (File Photo: AFP)

BAGHDAD, Nov. 21 (Xinhua) -- Iraq has arrested six "prominent members" of the Islamic State (IS) militants, with at least two of them captured in the semi-autonomous region of Kurdistan, and eradicated four IS hideouts in the country's northern province of Kirkuk, official sources said on Monday.

The IS members, active in the north of Baghdad and Anbar Province in western Iraq, were arrested in a joint operation by the Iraqi Counter-Terrorism Service and security service Asayish from the country's Kurdish region, Iraqi forces commander-in-chief's spokesperson Yahia Rasoul said in a statement.

Rasoul didn't share details about the location and time for the arrest, while the statement identified two of the IS militants as "Ahmed Saleh" and "Bahauddin Zubar".

Also on Monday, the regional counter-terrorism service from Iraq's Kurdistan said in a statement that Kurdistan Regional Government on Sunday had handed over IS militants arrested in Erbil province in Kurdistan, including "Ahmed Saleh" and "Bahauddin Zubar", to Iraqi Counter-Terrorism Service.

Separately, acting on intelligence reports from the Iraqi interior ministry, the Iraqi Air Force on Monday launched airstrikes targeting the IS militants, destroying four of their hideouts in Kirkuk, tweeted the Security Media Cell affiliated with Iraq's armed forces.

Over the past months, Iraqi security forces have conducted operations against extremist militants to crack down on their intensified activities.

The security situation in Iraq has been improving since the defeat of the IS in 2017. However, its remnants have since sneaked into urban centers, deserts and rugged areas, carrying out frequent guerilla attacks against security forces and civilians.