20 killed in blast, clashes with IS militants in Iraq's Anbar

20 killed in blast, clashes with IS militants in Iraq
# 19 August 2015 19:26 (UTC +04:00)

Baku-APA. A total of 20 people were killed and 31 wounded on Wednesday in a suicide car bomb attack and clashes with Islamic State (IS) militants in Iraq's western province of Anbar, a provincial security source said, APA reports quoting Xinhua.

The security forces and allied paramilitary militias known as Hashd Shaabi, or popular mobilization, carried out an operation on IS positions in Albu-Eitha northeast of the IS-held provincial capital city of Ramadi, sparking heavy clashes with the extremist militants, the source told Xinhua on condition of anonymity.

During the battle, a suicide bomber rammed his explosive-laden military vehicle into the advanced troops and blew it up, while six more roadside bombs and mortar barrage struck the military vehicles, leaving 15 soldiers and Hashd Shaabi members killed and 22 others wounded, the source said without giving further details about the casualties among the militants.

Three people were killed and five others injured when IS militants pounded a police station in the town of Khaldiyah, the source said.

Also in the province, IS militants shelled al-Mazraa military camp, which houses army and Hashd Shaabi militiamen, in east of the militant-seized city of Fallujah, killing two soldiers and wounding others, 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.

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