BAGHDAD, A leader of Iraqi government-backed Hashd Shaabi brigade and his aide were killed in a bomb attack in Iraq’s eastern province of Diyala, a provincial security source said.

Abu Jamal al-Janabi, a leader of Hashd Shaabi’s 110 Brigade, was killed and four of his guards were wounded when a roadside bomb detonated Thursday near their patrol in Himreen area in north of Diyala’s provincial capital Baquba, some 65 km northeast of Baghdad, Sadiq al-Husseini, head of security committee of the provincial council, told Xinhua.

One of the wounded guards died later in the hospital, Husseini said.

Also in the province, Mizher al-Azawy, commander of Diyala Operations Command, told Xinhua that a joint force from Iraqi army and Hashd Shaabi brigades, backed by aircraft, carried out a large-scale operation through three routes in Himreen mountainous area to hunt down Daesh militants.

Despite repeated military operations in the Diyala province, remnants of Daesh militants are still hiding in some rugged areas near the border with Iran, and in the sprawling areas extending from the western part of the province to the Himreen mountain range in northern the province.

On Dec. 9, 2017, Iraq officially declared full liberation of its territories from Daesh militants after Iraqi forces recaptured all the areas once seized by the extremist group.

However, some Daesh groups and individuals regrouped in desert and rugged areas and are carrying out attacks against the security forces and civilians despite operations from time to time to hunt them down.