Eight members of the Shia Hashd al-Shaabi militia were killed in a Daesh ambush Saturday in northeastern Iraq, according to a local police officer.
“The commander of Hashd al-Shaabi's 110th Brigade and seven members were killed in a Daesh ambush in the Hamrin Mountains area northeast of the city of Baqubah [Diyala’s provincial capital],” Captain Habib al-Simari, a Diyala province police officer, told Anadolu Agency.
The officer added that Hashd al-Shaabi militiamen had been on a mission in the area before they were targeted.
The ambush followed the death of an Iraqi army officer and a soldier, with four others wounded, earlier today when unidentified assailants targeted a checkpoint in Imam Ways in northeastern Baqubah.
The attacks took place despite last week’s large-scale security operation by Diyala police to secure the provincial borders against Daesh militants entering from the Kirkuk and Saladin provinces.
Established in 2014, Hashd al-Shaabi is an umbrella group of pro-government Shia militias formed for the express purpose of fighting Daesh.
In October, the Iraqi army – backed by U.S.-led coalition airstrikes and local allies on the ground – began a wide-ranging operation to retake Mosul, Daesh’s last bastion in northern Iraq, which the militant group overran in 2014.
*Reporting by Hussein al-Amir; Writing by Mahmoud Barakat