At least six Islamic State (IS) militants and a policeman were killed in two attacks in the provinces of Salahudin and Diyala, according to the security sources.

On Saturday, the Hashd Shaabi said in a statement, In Salahudin province, the paramilitary Hashd Shaabi artillery pounded IS positions in al-Zarga area, in east of the provincial capital Tikrit, some 170 km north of Baghdad, leaving six IS militants killed.

Ahmed al-Shimmary from the provincial police said that in the eastern province of Diyala, a policeman was killed and an officer wounded when IS militants opened fire on their police checkpoint in al-Abbara area in northeast of the provincial capital Baquba, located some 65 km northeast of Baghdad.

The attacks came as the extremist IS militants intensified their attacks on the security forces, including Hashd Shaabi forces, and civilians in the Sunni provinces which once were under the control of IS militants, since the beginning of the holy month of Ramadan, resulting in the killing and wounding of dozens of people.

Earlier in the day, Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi said that the Iraqi forces will launch a major offensive to eradicate IS militants, and that the Hashd Shaabi forces will be at the forefront of the security forces in the upcoming offensive.

In 2019, at least 10 Islamic State (IS) militants were killed in an airstrike by the US-led coalition aircraft and clashes with Iraqi security forces in western Iraq.

Last year, in May, Iraqi warplanes killed 10 Islamic State militants and destroyed two armoured vehicles during an air raid in Salahuddin province.

The operation also resulted in destroying two oil tankers at the site.

IS remnants, however, have since melted in urban areas or resorted to deserts and rugged areas as safe havens, carrying out frequent guerilla attacks against security forces and civilians.