Over 100 killed in air strikes, clashes in Iraq

Baghdad, Jan 23 (IANS) At least 62 Islamic State militants and 48 security forces personnel were killed on Saturday in US-led coalition air strikes, four suicide bomb attacks and clashes with Iraqi security forces, security sources said.

In Iraq’s western province of Anbar, three suicide bombers drove their booby-trapped vehicles into bases of Iraqi federal police and detonated them in Kilo 70 area west of the provincial capital city of Ramadi leaving 43 policemen dead and destroying five police vehicles, a provincial security source told Xinhua on condition of anonymity.

A suicide bomber rammed his explosive-laden vehicle into a military base and blew it up in Tal Msheheidah area killing five security members and wounding 11 others, along with destroying two military vehicles, the source said.

US-led coalition aircraft carried out air strikes on IS positions in the desert area north of Ramadi killing at least 53 IS militants, the source added without giving further details.

The predominantly Sunni Arab province of Salahudin has been the scene of a major offensive by Iraqi security forces and allied paramilitary units, known as Hashd Shaabi, which managed to retake control of key towns of the province from IS militants, except for the northern areas of the province, including the town of Shirqat, some 280 km north of Baghdad.

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