RAMADI, Iraq, Jan. 10 (Xinhua) -- Fierce clashes continued between Iraqi security forces backed by Sunni tribes and al-Qaida militants in and near major cities in the volatile Anbar province in western Iraq, a provincial police source said on Friday.
Gunmen attacked the Iraqi army positions on a highway just east of the city of Fallujah, some 50 km west of the Iraqi capital of Baghdad, erupting fierce clashes, a provincial police source told Xinhua on condition of anonymity.
There was no reports on casualties as the battles are still underway, the source said.
Near Fallujah, at least one civilian was killed and five others were wounded in a mortar barrage in the afternoon on al-Ru'od district in the town of Garma, some 10 km east of Fallujah, the source said.
Meanwhile, gunmen, believed to be al-Qaida militants, blew up two bridges leading to Fallujah, one linking Garma with Fallujah and another in northwest of Fallujah, the source said.
In Fallujah, life went normal as many of its mosques opened their doors for the weekly Friday prayer after a year of closure due to the anti-government protests staged by members of the Sunni Arab community who accused the Shiite-led government of marginalizing them and its Shiite-dominated security forces of indiscriminately arresting, torturing and killing their sons.
Also in the province, fierce clashes broke out in the provincial capital city of Ramadi, some 110 km west of Baghdad, since late Thursday when tribesmen backed by army troops and tanks attacked al-Qaida militants who were positioned in abandoned houses, the source said.
The Friday's battles in eastern Ramadi resulted in the killing of at least two civilians and wounding seven others, the source added without giving further details.
Anbar province has been the scene of fierce clashes that flared up after Iraqi police dismantled an anti-government protest site outside Ramadi in late December last year.
Iraq is witnessing its worst violence in recent years. According to the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq, a total of 8,868 Iraqis, including 7,818 civilians and civilian police personnel, were killed in 2013, which is the highest annual death toll for years.
BEIJING. Jan. 10 (Xinhua) -- China is concerned about the security situation in Iraq, and supports the country to restore stability and order, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said on Friday.
Hua's comments came amid clashes between tribesmen, backed by security forces, and al-Qaida militants in Iraq's western province of Anbar. At least 10 al-Qaida militants were killed on Tuesday. Full story
BAGHDAD, Jan. 9 (Xinhua) -- Sporadic clashes between tribesmen backed by security forces and the al-Qaida militants continued in the western Iraqi province of Anbar on Thursday, as concerns rise about worsening humanitarian crisis in the city of Fallujah, a police and an official said.
Fierce clashes continued in the provincial capital city of Ramadi, some 110 km west of Baghdad, when hundreds of tribesmen and local police chased groups of al-Qaida militants in separate districts in the city, a provincial police source told Xinhua. Full story