BAGHDAD, July 10 (Xinhua) -- Iraqi security forces continued Thursday battles and skirmishes against the Sunni insurgent groups across Iraq, security and medical sources said.
In Anbar province, the military spokesman Major General Qasim Atta told a news conference that Iraqi security forces fought fierce clashes with Sunni militants, including those who are linked to the Islamic State (IS), an al-Qaida offshoot, in the provincial capital city of Ramadi, and nearby militant-seized city of Fallujah, leaving a total of 46 militants killed and destroying dozens of the vehicles.
A provincial police source told Xinhua that Sunni militants attacked a military base in al-Jazira area, just north of Ramadi, some 110 km west of the Iraqi capital of Baghdad, and killed five soldiers and two policemen, along with wounding six policemen.
Also in the day, a fierce clash erupted between Sunni militants and security forces on the northern edge of Fallujah, around 50 km west of Baghdad, leaving six militants killed, the source said on condition of anonymity.
Meanwhile, eight civilians, including two children and a woman, were killed and some 35 others wounded in artillery in overnight shelling on several neighborhoods in Fallujah, a medical source from the city hospital told Xinhua, adding that six children and four women were among the wounded.
In a separate incident, a young man was killed and his father, mother and a younger brother were wounded when a mortar round landed on their house in Nu'iemiyah area, just south of Fallujah, the source added.
In Salahudin province, the security forces repelled an offensive by Sunni militant on a military air base in north of Tikrit, that previously was used by the U.S. forces, known as Camp Speicher, which is still under the control of Iraqi troops, spokesman Qasim Atta told reporters without elaborating.
The troops also continued their seizing to the perimeter and entrances of Tikrit, some 170 km north Baghdad, including the areas around the city like the town of Uojah, around 10 km south of Tikrit, as part of their plan to retake Tikrit, Atta said at a news conference in Baghdad.
The battles in the province left a total of 47 militants killed and some 14 vehicles burned, Atta said.
Earlier, Atta said that the Iraqi forces are preparing for a major offensive to retake Tikrity from the Sunni militants within a short period, but the troops are acting cautiously to avoid casualties among civilians.
In Iraq's eastern province of Diyala, clashes between Sunni militants and security forces backed by volunteers continued since Wednesday night in Sudour area in northeast of the provincial capital city of Baquba, about 65 km northeast of Baghdad, leaving 39 militants killed and destroying seven of their vehicles, Atta said.
In south of Baghdad, the troops killed 25 militants and destroyed 10 of their vehicles in fierce clashes in Jurf al-Sakhar area which is located in the northern part of Babil province, Atta added.
The sectarian mixed province of Babil has been part of the latest Sunni insurgency against the Shiite-led government. The area in north of Hilla, which is located about 100 km south of Baghdad, is known as the Triangle of Death. It is a cluster of Sunni towns scattered north of the province.
Iraq has been witnessing some of the worst violence in years. About three weeks earlier, armed Sunni insurgents, spearheaded by the ISIL, launched a surprise offensive on Iraqi security forces. The group captured a large part of the country's northern and western territories after Iraqi troops abandoned their posts and military equipment.