22 killed as Iraq forces clash with militants in Anbar Province
Iran Press TV
Mon Jun 2, 2014 3:2PM GMT
At least 22 people have been killed in violent confrontations between the army and al-Qaeda-linked militants in Iraq's Anbar Province.
On Monday, the deadly battles took place in and around the flashpoint city of Fallujah in the militancy-riddled province.
The restive city has been mostly under the control of militants from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) since the beginning of the year.
The unrest in the desert province of Anbar, which borders Syria, broke out in late December after Iraq's security forces tore down a protest camp outside the provincial capital, Ramadi.
The security forces supported by Sunni tribesmen have been battling the militants since then.
Hundreds of people have lost their lives in the months-long conflict.
Iraq is currently witnessing a wave of violence unprecedented in recent years.
Takfiri groups, including the ISIL, are reportedly coming to Iraq from neighboring Syria and Saudi Arabia to undermine security in the country.
Official figures show that more than 1,000 people, mostly civilians, were killed and nearly 1,400 others injured in violent attacks across Iraq in April. According to the United Nations, almost 9,000 people were killed in 2013.
Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has said Saudi Arabia and Qatar are responsible for the security crisis and growing terrorism in his country, denouncing the Al Saud regime as a major supporter of global terrorism.
The government in Iraq has also blamed Riyadh for the chaos, saying Saudi Arabia is funding and arming militants fighting against Iraqi forces in the country's western areas, including Anbar Province.
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