BAGHDAD, Jan. 23 (Xinhua) -- Five paramilitary Hashd Shaabi members were killed and four others injured on Saturday in an attack by militants of extremist Islamic State (IS) group in Salahudin Province north of Iraq's capital Baghdad, a provincial police source said.
The attack took place in the evening when IS militants attacked the outposts of Hashd Shaabi's 22nd Brigade in the Himreen area in the eastern part of Salahudin, Mohammed al-Bazi told Xinhua.
The five killed Hashd Shaabi members included the Brigade's commander Abu Alyaa al-Husseini, al-Bazi said.
Reinforcement troops were dispatched to the area to support the Hashd Shaabi members, he added, noting there were no immediate reports about casualties of the extremist militants.
The attack came as the IS militants intensified attacks on the security forces, including Hashd Shaabi forces, and civilians in the formerly IS-controlled Sunni provinces in Iraq. The extremist group has claimed Thursday's twin suicide bombings in a bustling outdoor market in downtown Baghdad that killed 32 and wounded more than 100 others.
The security situation in Iraq has been improving since Iraqi security forces fully defeated the IS militants across the country late in 2017.
However, IS remnants have since melted in urban areas or deserts and rugged areas, carrying out frequent guerilla attacks against security forces and civilians.