17 militants killed in Iraq’s Anbar

Baghdad, Dec 16 (IANS) At least 17 Islamic State (IS) militants were killed on Wednesday in armed clashes and air raids in Iraq’s largest province of Anbar, a provincial security source said.

Iraqi security forces and allied paramilitary units, known as Hashd Shaabi, repelled an attack by dozens of IS militants in west of the Iraqi capital of Baghdad, the source told Xinhua on condition of anonymity.

At least seven IS militants and three security guards were killed in the heavy clashes.

In a related development, Iraqi aircraft pounded groups of IS militants while they were trying to attack the positions of the security forces in Albu Dhiyab area, just north of the IS-held provincial capital city of Ramadi, killing at least 10 IS members, the source added.

The latest battles and air strikes came after significant advances against IS militants recently by security forces and Hashd Shaabi units in Ta’mim district in southern Ramadi and in several areas on the edges of the city.

The troops have been fighting for months to retake control of key cities and towns in Anbar from IS militants, who have seized most of the province and tried to advance toward Baghdad.

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