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Iraqi forces captures militant close to top IS leader in western Iraq

Iraqi forces have arrested an Islamic States (IS) militant close to IS group leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in Iraq’s western province of Anbar, authorities announced Monday.

The militant was ambushed and captured in the town of Heet, some 160 km west of the Iraqi capital Baghdad, the Iraqi Ministry of Defense said in a statement.

“The terrorist is close to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, and he is the father of several terrorists. Some of his sons were killed by the security forces and another one blew himself up during a suicide attack, while another fled the country after being wounded during the battles which liberated Iraqi territories from IS group,” the statement said without identifying the captured terrorist.

The captured militant is accused of displacing a number of families in Heet and forced security members to leave their weapons and to abandon their duties, according to the statement.

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

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