Iraq forces free villages from IS near Fallujah

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Baghdad, May 24 (IANS) Iraqi security forces on Tuesday freed several villages from Islamic State (IS) militants in an offensive continued for the second day around the city of Fallujah in Iraq’s Anbar province, a security source said.

Also on Tuesday, two suicide bombers detonated their explosive packed trucks near an army convoy near the militant-seized town of Saqlawiyah, in north of Fallujah, destroying four military vehicles and killing ten soldiers and wounding nine others, the source told Xinhua news agency.

The twin suicide bombings were followed by attack of dozens of IS militants on the nearby security positions, but air strikes by US-led coalition warplanes foiled them, killing 25 IS militants and destroying seven of their vehicles, the source added.

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Separately, an Iraqi army helicopter gunship destroyed an explosive-laden car and killed its suicide bomber in Garma town in Rashad area, some 10 km northeast of Fallujah, he said.

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi announced the launch of the offensive to claim Fallujah on Monday.



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