BAGHDAD, April 14 (Xinhua) -- Iraqi forces on Sunday continued operations and airstrikes against the positions of Islamic State (IS) militants in the eastern province of Diyala, killing a militant and destroying several hideouts, security sources said.
Acting on intelligence reports, a joint force from the Iraqi security forces and intelligence service carried out an operation against IS positions in orchards of the town of Abu Saida, some 85 km northeast of Iraq's capital Baghdad, said a statement by Diyala's intelligence service.
The joint force traded fire with an extremist IS militant, killing him in a hideout, and seized explosives, several bombs, suicide belts and military equipment in the hideout, the statement added.
Also in the province, Iraqi warplanes pounded and destroyed four IS hideouts at a rural area located some 155 km northeast of Baghdad, Sadiq al-Husseini, head of the security committee in Diyala's provincial council, told Xinhua.
Al-Husseini said the preliminary reports indicate that several IS militants were killed in the airstrikes.
Despite repeated military operations in Diyala, some IS militants are still hiding in some rugged areas near the border with Iran, and in the sprawling areas extending from the western part of the province to the Himreen mountain range in the north of Baquba.
The security situation in Iraq has been dramatically 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 as safe havens, carrying out guerilla attacks from time to time against security forces and civilians.