BAGHDAD, Jan. 4 (Xinhua) -- Iraqi security forces on Saturday lost control of Fallujah, a city in Anbar province some 50 km west of Baghdad, to some tribesmen and al-Qaida fighters, a security source said.
"Fallujah is under control of armed tribesmen and al-Qaida fighters, and there is no presence for the government security forces," the source told Xinhua.
The clashes in Anbar province entered their sixth day after tensions flared up in the western province on Monday when Iraqi police dismantled an anti-government protest site outside it capital city of Ramadi.
Meanwhile, a witness from the city told Xinhua by telephone that fierce clashes erupted on Friday night, when dozens of gunmen attacked an army base outside Fallujah, and seized part of it.
Unlike in Fallujah, tribesmen and government troops fought together against al-Qaida militants in Ramadi, some 110 km west of Baghdad, and regained control of the city, the security source said.
Tension has been running high in the Sunni heartland of Anbar since the Iraqi security forces on Saturday captured Sunni Arab tribal leader and lawmaker Ahmad al-Alwani and killed his brother.
The Sunnis have been carrying out year-long protests, accusing the Shiite-led government of marginalizing them and its Shiite- dominated security forces of indiscriminately arresting, torturing and killing their sons.
Alwani is one of the outspoken leaders in the anti-government protests. Some opponent lawmakers have been calling for lifting his immunity against arrest, but their demand was rejected by the parliament.
Gunmen kill Sunni protest leader in Iraq's Fallujah
RAMADI, Iraq, Dec. 1 (Xinhua) -- Gunmen on Sunday killed a leader of a Sunni anti-government protest in the city of Fallujah in Iraq's western province of Anbar, a provincial police source told Xinhua.
The attack took place at about 8:30 a.m. local time (0530 GMT) when unidentified gunmen intercepted the car of the Sheikh Khalid al-Jumaili and opened fire, the source said on condition of anonymity, adding that the son of al-Jumaili was wounded.Full story