BAGHDAD, Aug. 13 (Xinhua) -- A total of 26 people were killed and 36 others wounded in clashes and bombardment in north and east of the Iraqi capital of Baghdad on Wednesday, security sources said.
In Salahudin province, at least 12 people were killed, including three children, and 16 others wounded when the army artillery pounded al-Zuhour district in the provincial capital city of Tikrit, some 170 km north of Baghdad, a provincial police source told Xinhua on condition of anonymity.
Four houses and six cars were also destroyed by the bombardment against the militant-seized city, the source said.
Separately, fierce clashes erupted between Iraqi security forces and Sunni militant groups, including the Islamic State group, an al-Qaida offshoot, in the town of Uoja, some 12 km south of Tikrit, leaving nine militants killed and 13 others wounded, the source said.
In Iraq's eastern province of Diyala, clashes occurred near the town of Jalawlaa, some 130 km northeast of Baghdad, when insurgent groups tried to advance toward the city of Khanaqin, some 165 km northeast of Baghdad, which is under control of the Kurdish Peshmerga forces, a provincial police source anonymously told Xinhua.
The Peshmerga forces repelled the militants outside Jalawlaa and killed at least four of them, destroying four of their vehicles, while a Peshmerga member was killed and seven others were wounded, the source said.
In Jalawlaa, the insurgents blew up 20 houses belonging to Kurdish residents who fled their homes earlier when the militants seized the town two days ago, the source added.
Iraq has been plagued with violence for years since the U.S.- led occupation of the country, but the situation has deteriorated dramatically with the spillover of violence from the raging conflict in neighboring Syria.
The al-Qaida-linked Islamic State, a regional armed Islamist militia fighting in Syria, has gained significant ground in Iraq, especially in the Sunni areas. Over recent days, the Islamic State militants stormed towns in the northern part of Iraq in its advance to other parts of the country.