BAGHDAD, Dec. 19 (Xinhua) -- A total of eight civilians were killed and seven others wounded on Monday in attacks by the Islamic State (IS) militants in Iraq's eastern province of Diyala, a local official said.
The incident occurred in the evening when IS militants attacked a civilian car outside a village near the town of Khalis, some 70 km northeast of the capital Baghdad, Udai al-Khadran, the mayor of the town, told Xinhua.
Later, the militants opened fire on villagers who gathered near the car, al-Khadran said.
Iraqi security forces rushed to the scene and carried out a search for the attackers, a provincial security source told Xinhua.
Iraqi Prime minister Mohammed Shia' al-Sudani, also the commander-in-chief of the Iraqi forces, sent a high-ranking delegation from the Diyala Operations Command to investigate the attacks, he said on condition of anonymity.
Over the past months, Iraqi security forces have conducted operations against extremist militants to crack down on their intensified activities.
The security situation in Iraq has been improving since the defeat of the IS in 2017. However, its remnants have since melted into urban centers, deserts, and rugged areas, carrying out frequent guerilla attacks against security forces and civilians. ■