BAQUBA, Iraq, Aug. 11 (Xinhua) -- Islamic State (IS) militants took control of a town in Iraq's eastern province of Diyala after fierce overnight clashes with Kurdish security forces, a provincial security source said on Monday.
Dozens of IS militants, backed by some 20 suicide bombers and three car bombs, stormed the Peshmerga Kurdish security forces in the town of Jalawlaa, some 130 km northeast of the Iraqi capital of Baghdad, and seized the town after the withdrawal of Peshmerga fighters, the source told Xinhua on condition of anonymity.
The battles left at least 10 Peshmerga fighters dead and more than 70 others wounded, the source said.
The fall of Jalawlaa came a day after the Kurdish forces carried out a major offensive against the IS militants and retook the towns of Makhmour and Gwer near the city of Arbil, the capital of the semi-autonomous region of Kurdistan. The militants earlier captured both towns, posing an imminent threat to the Kurdish capital.
Iraq has been plagued with violence for years since the U.S.- led occupation of the country, but the situation has deteriorated dramatically with the spillover of violence from the raging conflict in neighboring Syria.
The al-Qaida-linked IS, a regional armed Islamist militia fighting in Syria, has gained significant ground in Iraq, especially in the Sunni areas. Over recent days, IS militants stormed towns in the northern part of Iraq in its advance to other parts of the country.