Salahuddin (IraqiNews.com) Pro-Iraqi government paramilitary forces have killed Islamic State militants after targeting their havens in Makhoul mountains, north of Salahuddin province. “The 25th brigade of Al-Hashd al-Shaabi troops [Public Mobilization Units] targeted IS pockets in Makhoul mountains, killing two militants and burnt their vehicle,” the media service said on Sunday. “The brigade’s artillery targeted IS sites in al-Sheikh Ali village, leaving two members killed and their vehicle destroyed,” it added. IS has escalated violent attacks against security members and civilians across Iraqi provinces over the months that followed the launch of a security campaign to retake its biggest stronghold in Mosul last October. Observers believe the attacks aim at making up for losses the group has been sustaining in Mosul. Salahuddin has witnessed an escalation in IS attacks on deployments by Iraqi government forces and PMUs. IS militants still pose a security threat in Salahuddin though security forces had recaptured large areas of the province since the group emerged in 2014 to proclaim an “Islamic Caliphate”. PMUs are considered one of the largest militias in Iraq. It was established in 2014 by a fatwa (religious edict) to fight the Islamic State. In late 2016, the Iraqi parliament recognized the militia as a national armed force.