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Islamic State Stages Rare Incursion Into Kurdish-Controlled Iraq

Islamist State militants launched a rare attack inside Kurdish northern Iraq November 3, briefly taking over a local government compound near several producing oil fields.

Kurds previously had largely prevented IS incursions into their autonomous territory.

Security sources said suicide bombers blew themselves up at key checkpoints, clearing the way for three other militants to enter the compound in Dibis, 30 miles south of Irbil.

The three insurgents then occupied the mayor's office, throwing grenades and firing at Kurdish security forces.

Kurdish forces regained control after one of the militants was shot dead and the other two blew themselves up, security sources said. At least four Kurdish troops also were killed.

Sources said the attack was probably the work of a sleeper cell in Dibis, which has a mixed Arab and Kurdish population. A curfew was imposed on the town afterwards.

Dibis is part of Kirkuk Province, which was largely taken over by IS after the Iraqi Army collapsed as IS swept through northern Iraq in June 2014.

Kurdish peshmerga forces with U.S. backing regained control of the area and effectively expanded their region to include previously disputed territories claimed by both Kurds and Arabs.

Based on reporting by Reuters and AFP