A total of 28 people were killed, including three suicide bombers, and over 28 others wounded in bomb attacks and clashes with the Islamic State (IS) militants across Iraq on Sunday, while gunmen abducted nine people in eastern the country, security sources said.
In Iraq’s western province of Anbar, heavy clashes erupted between the Iraqi security forces and allied militias, known as Hashd Shaabi, or Popular Mobilization, and the IS militants in south of the IS-held city of Fallujah, some 50 km west of the Iraqi capital of Baghdad, a provincial security source told Xinhua on condition of anonymity.
During the battle, three suicide bombers blew up their explosive-laden vehicles near the troops, leaving at least 10 security members and militiamen killed and eight others wounded, the source said.
Meanwhile, U.S.-led coalition warplanes provide air support to the troops at the battlefield near Fallujah, killing at least seven IS militants and wounded 11 others, the source added, without giving further details.
Also in the province, the security forces and allied tribal fighters fought the IS militants in Albu Farraj area which located in the northern side of Euphrates River, which separate the area from the provincial capital city of Ramadi, some 110 km west of Baghdad, leaving at least three IS militants killed, the source said without elaborating.
In Salahudin province, Iraqi security forces and allied militias cleared two villages from IS militants on the western bank of Tigris River in north of the provincial capital city of Tikrit, some 170 km north of Baghdad, killing at least three extremist militants and destroying two of their vehicles, a source from the provincial operations command anonymously told Xinhua.
The operation in north of Tikrit is part of the troops advance toward the battleground town of Baiji, some 200 km north of Baghdad, as the IS militants gained ground in the nearby huge oil refinery where some of the security forces have been besieged by the IS militants for days.
On Tuesday, Iraq dispatched reinforcement troops, backed by tanks and armored vehicles, to an airbase just north of Tikrit in an offensive aimed at retaking full control of the oil refinery after the IS militants captured large areas of the vast oil refinery.
Near Baghdad, a car bomb went off in Tarmiyah area, some 40 km north of Baghdad, leaving a civilian killed and five others wounded, while another car bomb ripped through Taji area, some 20 km north of Baghdad, killing a civilian and wounding four others, an Interior Ministry source told Xinhua on condition of anonymity.
In Iraq’s eastern province of Diyala, gunmen in three sport utility vehicles (SUV) wearing military uniforms kidnapped eight people from their homes when they stormed a village outside the town of Wajihiyah in north of the provincial capital city of Baquba, some 65 km northeast of Baghdad, a provincial security source told Xinhua.
Separately, another civilian was kidnapped by unidentified gunmen near his house in Wajihiyah, the source said.
Violence and sectarian tensions have been running high recently between Sunni and Shiite communities in the volatile province of Diyala, as Sunnis and Shiites are carrying out reprisal killings.
The security situation in Iraq has drastically deteriorated since last June, when bloody clashes broke out between Iraqi security forces and IS militants.