Rudaw file photo of a group of suspects arrested in Kirkuk.
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – Kirkuk security, Asayesh, announced it had arrested “five terrorists” involved in a string of terrorist acts in Kirkuk.
“At 11am on Thursday, after collecting information and precise follow-ups, we managed to arrest five terrorists in the town of Laylan in two raids,” Farhad Hama Ali, media officer of the Kirkuk Asayesh, told Rudaw.
Ali added the militants were wanted by a Kirkuk court on allegations of involvement in terror acts in the Kirkuk city area.
According to Ali, earlier this week they arrested another four persons in Daquq town and Kirkuk city’s Amal Shaabi.
“Those arrested this week were all Arabs from Kirkuk,” he explained.
ISIS has recently increased its military maneuvers south of Kirkuk.
In the course of a month, the Peshmerga has repulsed multiple ISIS attacks. Yesterday the group launched an assault on the Peshmerga in the town of Tuz Khurmatu, about 70 kilometers south of Kirkuk, marking the fourth similar assault on the Peshmerga, all repelled.
After Iraqi forces fled large parts of the country in the face of an offensive by ISIS in June 2014 – leaving land and massive caches of weapons to the militants – Kurdish Peshmerga forces moved into the areas and recently Kurdish President Masoud Barzani declared that the areas were no longer considered disputed, claimed by both Erbil and Baghdad.
There are still three major towns ISIS rules in southern Kirkuk, Hawija, Riaz and Rashad. Residents of those towns have fled towards Kirkuk in large numbers. ISIS militants sometimes disguise themselves as civilians among them, thereby infiltrating Kirkuk.