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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

People's Daily Online

34 killed in air strikes, clashes against IS militants in Iraq

People's Daily Online

(Xinhua) 09:41, July 22, 2015

BAGHDAD, July 21 -- A total of 34 people were killed and 51 wounded on Tuesday in clashes with Islamic State (IS) militants, U.S.-led coalition air strikes and a suicide car bomb attacks in central and western Iraq, security sources said.

The troops and allied paramilitary militias known as Hashd Shaabi, or popular mobilization, repelled an attack by dozens of IS militants with three suicide car bombs on military bases in Shieha area in north of the IS-held city of Fallujah, some 50 km west of the Iraqi capital of Baghdad, a provincial security source told Xinhua on condition of anonymity.

Coalition's warplanes intervened in the battle and carried out air strikes against the extremist militants, the source said, adding that the heavy clashes between the two sides and the air strikes left 11 soldiers and Hashd Shaabi militiamen killed and 20 others wounded, while at least seven IS militants were killed and 14 others wounded.

Separately, seven troops and allied militiamen were killed and four others wounded in a clash with the IS militants in Albu Haiyat area, just east of the town of Haditah, which itself located some 200 km northwest of Baghdad, the source said.

Also in the province, U.S.-led coalition aircraft bombarded IS positions in Albu Shehab area near the town of Khaldiyah, some 80 km west of Baghdad, leaving five IS militants killed and three wounded, along with destroying a vehicle carrying ammunition, the source added.

On July 13, the Iraqi authorities announced the start of a major offensive against IS militants to free key cities and towns in Iraq's largest province of Anbar province from IS militants.

Iraqi security forces and allied Hashd Shaabi paramilitary militias have been fighting for months to retake control of key cities and towns in Iraq's largest province of Anbar since the IS militants seized most of it and tried to advance toward capital Baghdad, but several counter attacks by security forces and Shiite militias have pushed them back.

Near Baghdad, a suicide bomber detonated his explosive-laden car at a security checkpoint in Tarmiyah area, some 40 km north of the Iraqi capital, killing four security members and wounding ten others, an Interior Ministry source anonymously told Xinhua.

The security situation in Iraq has drastically deteriorated since June 2014, when bloody clashes broke out between Iraqi security forces and the IS militants.

The IS militants took control of the country's northern city of Mosul and later seized swathes of territories after Iraqi security forces abandoned their posts in Nineveh and other predominantly Sunni provinces.

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