BAGHDAD, Sept. 16 (Xinhua) -- Three shepherds from one family were killed Saturday in a landmine explosion in Iraq's central province of Salahudin, a provincial police source said.
The incident occurred when the shepherds took their sheep in a rugged area near the town of al-Eith in the northern part of the province, Col. Mohammed al-Bazi told Xinhua.
Iraqi security forces rushed to the scene and launched an investigation into the incident, al-Bazi said, adding that the security forces believed that the bomb was planted by the extremist Islamic State (IS) militants.
The al-Eith area, some 60 km east of the provincial capital Tikrit, is a vast desert inhabited by shepherds and also used by IS militants as a launching pad for their guerilla attacks.
The security situation in Iraq has improved since the defeat of the IS in 2017. However, IS remnants have since melted into urban centers, deserts, and rugged areas, carrying out frequent guerilla attacks against security forces and civilians.