Baghdad, IRAQ — Over 8,500 people were arrested in Nineveh on suspicion of joining Islamic State since the liberation of Mosul in August.

The arrests were made upon accurate intelligence information and tip-offs from citizens, a security source told Baghdad Today on Sunday.

“Also, 100 people were ordered to be executed by specialized courts in the governorate on the same charge,” he concluded.

In August, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi announced that Nineveh province has been “fully liberated” from Islamic State, after the district of Tal Afar was re-captured, Iraqi News reports.

Abadi’s announcement followed the defeat of the militant group in the town of Ayadiya, where the militants had fled to from Tal Afar.

The group has suffered a string of territorial losses in recent months.

“Our happiness is complete, victory has arrived and the province of Nineveh is now entirely in the hands of our forces,” a statement from the prime minister said.

The Iraqi government launched an operation to retake Tal Afar on 20 August involving some 50,000 personnel from the army, air force, federal police, special forces and the Shia Muslim-led paramilitary Popular Mobilisation Forces.

ISIS militants seized control of much of Nineveh, including the provincial capital of Mosul, in June 2014. Victory was declared in the city in July.

Meanwhile, Iraqi troops found on Monday an Islamic State arms depot in Hit city in Anbar Province, Al-Ghad Press quoted military media saying.

“Military intelligence officers from the 39th brigade have found an underground IS arms depot at al- Bakr district in Hit city in Anbar,” the Directorate of General Military Intelligence said in a statement on Monday.

“The arms warehouse included mortar shells and oil tanks,” the statement read, adding that security forces will continue their campaigns to eliminate IS militants throughout Iraq.

On Sunday, two Islamic State depots used for storing explosives and arms were destroyed in Anbar province, Iraqi News reported.

“Iraqi policemen destroyed two arms depots that were used by IS militants at al-Karmah city and near the Japanese bridge in Anbar,” Spokesman for the Interior Ministry Saad Maan said in a statement.

“A huge explosion was heard as a result of the crackdown on the IS warehouses,” Maan said, adding that no casualties were reported.

Violence in the country has surged further with the emergence of Islamic State militants who proclaimed an “Islamic Caliphate” in Iraq and Syria in 2014.

About 114 Iraqi civilians were killed, while 244 others were wounded as a result of terrorism, violence and armed conflicts, according to a monthly release by the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI).

Baghdad was the worst affected governorate, coming in the first place with 177 civilian casualties (38 killed, 139 injured). Anbar province followed with 36 killed and 55 injured, and then Kirkuk with 18 killed and 33 injured.

The Iraqi capital has seen almost daily bombings and armed attacks against security members, paramilitary troops and civilians since the Iraqi government launched a wide-scale campaign to retake Islamic State-occupied areas in 2016.



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