Iraqi forces hit militant positions in Anbar, 15 killed

Photo: Iraqi forces hit militant positions in Anbar, 15 killed / Arab World

At least 15 militants were killed as the Iraqi security forces hit gunmen positions in the western restive province of Anbar on Saturday, security sources said, Xinhua reported.

Iraqi helicopter gunships and artillery bombarded the positions in the industrial area in the city of Fallujah in Anbar, some 50 km west of the Iraqi capital of Baghdad, killing 15 gunmen, the Ministry of Defense said in a statement emailed to Xinhua.

The statement said that the Iraqi security forces backed by allied tribal fighters retook full control of al-Mal'ab district in Anbar's provincial capital city of Ramadi, some 110 km west of Baghdad.

Meanwhile, fierce clashes were underway in Fallujah between the Iraqi army and local tribal fighters. The army's artillery bombarded several districts in and near Fallujah, killing and wounding an unknown number of people, a provincial police source told Xinhua on condition of anonymity.

The mobile and internet services of the province were cut off since early of the day, the source added.

Anbar province has been the scene of fierce clashes that flared up after Iraqi police dismantled an anti-government protest site outside Ramadi in late December last year.

Separately, three people were killed and two wounded in three bomb explosions across the predominantly Sunni province of Salahudin in north of Baghdad, a provincial police source told Xinhua anonymously.

In Baghdad, a roadside bomb detonated in the capital's southern district of Doura, killing a civilian and wounding five others, a police source said.

Meanwhile, five soldiers were wounded in a roadside bomb explosion near their patrol in Tarmiyah area, some 40 north of Baghdad, the source said.

In addition, a soldier was killed and two others were wounded when a roadside bomb struck their patrol near the town of Latifiyah, some 25 km south of Baghdad, the source added.

Iraq is witnessing its worst violence in recent years. According to the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq, a total of 8,868 Iraqis, including 7,818 civilians and civilian police personnel, were killed in 2013, which is the highest annual death toll for years.

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