Deadly insurgent ambush highlights security vacuum

Six paramilitary fighters were killed when insurgents, exploiting chronic security gaps in Iraq's disputed territories, launched a surprise attack along a remote highway.
Deadly insurgent ambush highlights security vacuum
Paramilitary troops operating under the Iraqi government's al-Hashid al-Shabi (Popular Mobilization) program launch a mortar toward Islamic State militants north of Fallujah on July 6, 2015. (STRINGER/Reuters)

At least six paramilitary fighters died in an insurgent ambush on Wednesday - the latest incident highlighting a problematic security vacuum in Iraq's disputed territories.

Despite recent efforts to improve military coordination between the federal government and the autonomous Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), Iraq's disputed territories - which lie between their areas of uncontested control - remain fertile ground for militants from the self-proclaimed Islamic State (IS) to prosecute a maturing insurgency.

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