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45 killed in clashes, air strikes against IS in Iraq
A total of 45 people were killed and 83 wounded on Wednesday in clashes with Islamic State (IS) militants and air strikes by Iraqi and U.S.-led coalition aircraft, security sources said.
In Iraq's western province of Anbar, two suicide bombers detonated their explosive-laden trucks at positions of the security forces and allied paramilitary militias known as Hashd Shaabi, or popular mobilization, in the battleground of Anbar University compound in southwestern the provincial capital city of Ramadi, some 110 km west of Baghdad, a provincial security source told Xinhua on condition of anonymity.
The huge blasts were followed by the attack of dozens of IS militants on the troops, which sparked heavy clashes that resulted in the killing of 17 security members and allied militiamen and the wounding of 25 others, the source said, adding that many of the IS militants were killed and wounded without immediate reports about exact numbers of their casualties.
Three days ago, the Iraqi forces said they captured the vast university compound, but they involved in tug-of-war battles in and around it. Other security forces are trying to expand their foothold outside the compound as part of their effort to free the IS-held Ramadi, the source added.
Also in the province, eight IS militants were killed and 14 others injured in clashes with Iraqi security forces and in an air strike in southwest of Ramadi, the source said without elaboration.
Meanwhile, a suicide truck bomber struck a military base housing Iraqi soldiers and Hashd Shaabi militiamen in Deraa Dijla area in northeastern the IS-seized city of Fallujah, some 50 km west of Baghdad, killing nine soldiers and militiamen and wounding 15 others, the source said.
Separately, international warplanes pounded suspected IS targets in the town of Rutba, some 370 km west of Baghdad, leaving four people killed and seven others wounded, 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 the 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.
In northern Iraq, Mulla Shwan al-Kurdi, deputy leader of a local IS group, was killed together with six of his aides when an unmanned aircraft pounded their convoy of vehicles at a village near the militant-seized town of Hawijah west of the city of Kirkuk, some 250 km north of Baghdad, a security source from Kirkuk police told Xinhua.
The bombardment also left 22 IS militants wounded, the source said.
The security situation in Iraq has drastically deteriorated since June 10 last year, when bloody clashes broke out between Iraqi security forces and the IS.
[Source: Xinhua, Baghdad, 29Jul15]
War in Iraq
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