ISIS fighters recaptured parts of the Iraqi town of Dhuluiya Sunday, pushing back security forces who had only recently won control, a defense ministry source told NBC News. The swift counterattack enabled the militants to retake northern and western sections of the town, which is about 50 miles south of Tikrit. Dhuluiya was only liberated from ISIS for a short time, although it was unclear for exactly how long. Iraq's defense ministry said their forces had helped Sunni Jubouri tribe members and Shia militia groups push the extremists out on Friday. A defense ministry source told NBC News it took place on Saturday.
As ISIS fighters forced their way back into Dhuluiya, at least two tribal fighters were killed, seven policemen wounded and four police vehicles destroyed, Reuters reported. On Saturday, ISIS fighters also seized the town of Kubaisa and attacked the Shi-ite town of Balad, Reuters said. "We are fighting devils and ghost fighters who retreat one day and return back stronger on the next day," said Abu Ali al-Lami, a Shi’ite militia fighter in Dhuluiya.
- NBC Baghdad Producer
Reuters contributed to this report.