Three teenagers and three policemen were shot dead on Monday in northern Iraq as they tried to put out a fire in a crop, an attack authorities blamed on Islamic State (IS) jihadists.
The six were killed in Taza Khurmatu district, south of the city of Kirkuk, according to Hussein Adel, head of the local administration, who added that a seventh person, a civilian, was missing.
Following the killings, a police car arriving in the area was shot at, and a bomb also exploded.
“IS set fire to farmland,” Adel said. “When police and civilians rushed to put out the fire, they were attacked by IS elements, killing three policemen and three teenagers.”
Iraq announced victory against IS in late 2017 after three years of fierce fighting with the help of paramilitary forces and the US-led air coalition.
But some cells of the group are still carrying out attacks, especially in the vast desert regions of northern and western Iraq, near the border with Syria.