NIVEVEH,IRAQ (AA) Two Iraqi soldiers were killed in clashes with PKK terrorists in Sinjar in northern Iraq, according to the Defence Ministry on Monday.

A ministry statement said clashes erupted late Sunday after PKK terrorists attacked a security checkpoint when they were stopped for security clearance. Five PKK terrorists were injured in the violence, the ministry said.

Local sources earlier said that the clashes had erupted between Iraqi forces and a PKK-linked militia known as Sinjar Resistance Units.

The sources said an Iraqi soldier and two militiamen had been killed and two others injured in the violence.

In mid-2014, the PKK sent fighters to Sinjar -- from Syria and Iraq’ northeastern Qandil region -- on the pretext that it was protecting Ezidis from the Daesh terrorist group.

In October 2017, the Iraqi government sent federal troops into parts of northern Iraq “disputed” between it and the Kurdish Regional Government -- including Sinjar. After federal forces moved into Sinjar, the PKK falsely claimed to have withdrawn from the region.