Heavy armed clashes broke out between the Iraqi forces and Islamic State (IS) insurgents near Hawija district, southwest of Kirkuk province, on Monday, a source said.
At least 20 IS jihadists were reportedly killed with 15 others trapped in al-Saadiya village in Hawija, as reported by Shafaq News.
The source also said that several Hashd al-Shaabi militiamen were killed as a result of the confrontation, however, the number remains unknown.
The areas around Hawija are still a hub for the remaining IS jihadists and group’s sleeper cells.
Hawija was declared fully liberated from the grip of Islamic State earlier in October 2017. However, the jihadist group maintains a presence in the area and continues to attack the Iraqi forces from time to time.