Clashes, bombings kill 26 in western Iraq
A total of 26 people were killed in clashes and bombardments in Iraq's western province of Anbar on Friday, a provincial police and a medical source said, Xinhua reported.
Fierce clashes broke out around midnight between the security forces and Sunni militants, including those who are linked to the Islamic State (IS), an al-Qaida breakaway group, in and near the provincial capital city of Ramadi, some 110 km west of capital Baghdad, leaving 11 policemen killed and dozens wounded, the source told Xinhua on condition of anonymity.
The militants blew up a police station, and seized another one as well as destroyed several police vehicles in the city, the source said without giving further details.
Separately, Iraqi military helicopter gunships pounded militant posts in the city of Haditha, some 200 km northwest of Baghdad, killing eight suspected militants and destroying three of their vehicles, the source said.
Meanwhile, seven people were killed, including a child, and 11 others wounded, including five children and four women, in artillery and mortar shelling on several neighborhoods in the militant-seized city of Fallujah, a medical source from the city hospital told Xinhua.
Iraq has been witnessing its worst security conditions that began about a month ago when armed Sunni insurgents, spearheaded by the IS, launched a surprise offensive that led to the debacle of Iraqi security forces and the fallen of a large part of the country's northern and western territories.