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Iraqi PM says Khaldiya liberated, 1,000 IS fighters killed

BAGHDAD, Aug 27 (KUNA) -- Iraq's Prime Minister Haidar Al-Abadi Saturday announced the full liberation of Khaldiya Island, east of Al-Anbar province, from so-called Islamic State (IS), as a military commander said 1,000 of the terror group were killed in fighting.
In a statement, Al-Abadi announced to the Iraqi people the end of the Khaldiya operation following its full liberation from the IS, and the killing of huge numbers of terrorists after a complete rout.
A new victory has been achieved in Khaldiya thanks to the bravery of the "valiant fighters," and the sacrifices of the "innocent martyrs." It is added to the several grand victories realized this year, the last of which was in Qayyarah, the statement said.
When the Iraqi army launched the operation to free the island, it was expected to fight just 150-200 IS militant there, but surprisingly, there were up to 1,200-1,400, both local and foreign fighters, head of the Al-Anbar popular mobilization commander Lt. Gen. Rashad Fulayyeh.
Since the fighting started until today, the army killed about 1,000 from IS, he added.
After the liberation of the city of Al-Fallujah, most of IS fighters fled to Khaldiya, which was also a strategic channel to feed the "terrorists" in others parts of Al-Anbar, he added. (end) ahh.msa