Groups fighting the Islamic State in northern Iraq got an unlikely assist from wild boars who killed three ISIS fighters and injured five others Sunday, according to media reports.
ISIS responded to the deaths by killing wild boars in the area near Hawija, the deputy head of the Kurdish intelligence service in Kirkuk told The Telegraph.
“Three fighters from ISIL were near the Peshmerga checkpoint in al-Rashad. They met some feral boars and the boars killed the three fighters,” Brigadier Azad Jelal told The Telegraph.
The Times of London reported the ISIS fighters were likely planning an attack on local tribesmen while hiding in a bed of reeds when they disturbed the boars.
“It is likely their movement disturbed a herd of wild pigs, which inhabit the area as well as the nearby cornfields,” Sheikh Anwar al-Asi, a supervisor of anti-ISIS forces, told The Times.
The Telegraph, however, reported that the killed fighters may have been trying to defect from ISIS, given that their bodies were found without nearby weapons.
“Unlike the injuries inflicted by wild cats, canines and bulls, the hallmark of boar attack is the infliction of multiple penetrating injuries to the lower part of the body,” according to a 2006 study titled “Death by attack from a wild boar.”
ISIS militants had killed 25 people in Hawija over the previous days, killings that came after people had tried to flee the town. ISIS has complete control over the city, according to The Times.