An attack by Islamic State militants on a village in northern Iraq on Friday killed at least 13 people including three villagers and 10 Kurdish soldiers, officials in Iraq’s autonomous Kurdish region said.
The attack took place in the Makhmour region, a hotbed for Islamic State activity that sees regular attacks against Kurdish forces, Iraqi forces and often civilians.
Makhmour is a mountainous area about 70km southeast of Mosul and 60km southwest of the Kurdish capital of Erbil.
A statement from the Kurdistan region’s armed forces, the peshmerga, said that Islamic State militants attacked the village killing three residents and that peshmerga forces intervened, resulting in clashes that killed 10 of their soldiers.
It gave no further details. There was no immediate claim by Islamic State for the attack.
Islamic State controlled roughly a third of Iraq between 2014 and 2017, including the remote Makhmour region but also major cities including Mosul.
A loose coalition of US-led forces, Iraqi and Kurdish troops and Iran-backed Shia militias defeated the Sunni Muslim extremist group in 2017, but its members still roam areas of northern Iraq and northeastern Syria.
Western military officials say at least 10,000 Islamic State fighters remain in Iraq and Syria. – Reuters