BAGHDAD - A total of 12 Islamic State (IS) militants were killed, including four of the group’s leaders, in two operations in northern and western Iraq, the Iraqi military said on Friday.

The Iraqi Counter Terrorism Service carried out two operations in Hawijah area in northern province of Kirkuk, and in west of the town of al-Rutba in western province of Anbar, Yahya Rasoul, spokesman of the Iraqi Joint Operations command, said in a brief statement.

The two operations resulted in the killing of 12 IS militants, including four leaders, and destroying weapons and ammunition, the statement added.

The security situation in Iraq has improved after security forces fully defeated the extremist IS militants across the country late in 2017

The security situation in Iraq was improved after Iraqi security forces fully defeated the extremist IS militants across the country late in 2017.

IS remnants, however, have since melted in urban areas or resorted to deserts and rugged areas, carrying out frequent guerilla attacks against security forces and civilians.