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Many real-world optimization problems are difficult to solve as they do not possess the nice mathematical properties required by the exact algorithms. Evolutionary algorithms are proven to be appropriate for such problems. In this paper, we propose an improved differential evolution algorithm that uses a mix of different mutation operators. In addition, the algorithm is empowered by a covariance adaptation matrix evolution strategy algorithm as a local search. To judge the performance of the algorithm, we have solved well-known benchmark as well as a variety of real-world optimization problems. The real-life problems were taken from different sources and disciplines. According to the results obtained, the algorithm shows a superior performance in comparison with other algorithms that also solved these problems.