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Iraqi Kurds Drive IS Out Of Several Villages

Kurdish forces say they have driven the Islamic State (IS) group out of several villages near the northern Iraqi city of Kirkuk.

The Kurdistan region's Security Council said the offensive, backed by U.S.-led coalition air strikes, was launched at dawn on September 30 and involved 3,500 Peshmerga fighters.

The statement said the Kurdish forces secured a stretch of a highway that connects Kirkuk to the central city of Samarra.

Security officials said at least 10 Kurdish fighters died in the operation and another 16 were wounded.

The Kurds took control of the oil city of Kirkuk in summer 2014, while IS fighters swept across northern Iraq and overran around a third of Iraq and neighboring Syria.

The militants have since launched numerous attacks on the city.

Based on reporting by AP, Reuters, and Reuters