RAMADI, Iraq, Sept. 30 (Xinhua) –– A total of 27 people were killed on Wednesday in clashes with Islamic State (IS) militants and U.S.-led coalition air strikes in Iraq’s western province of Anbar, a provincial security source said.
The deadliest incident occurred when the Iraqi security forces and allied militias were advancing toward the IS-seized provincial capital city of Ramadi, some 110 km west of Baghdad, as three suicide bombers detonated their explosive-borne vehicles into the troops’ convoys in al-Jereishi area in northeast of Ramadi, leaving 13 security members, including an officer, killed and many others wounded, the source told Xinhua on condition of anonymity.
The three blasts were followed by fierce clashes between the troops and dozens of IS militants, the source said, adding that the Iraqi helicopter gunships participated in the battle and destroyed a fourth suicide car bomb.
Separately, the international warplanes bombarded an IS convoy of vehicles in Albu Bali area just east of Ramadi, destroying four vehicles carrying weapons and killing eight militants aboard, the source said.
Three soldiers were killed and seven others wounded in Annaz area in east of the militant-held city of Fallujah, some 50 km west of Baghdad, when IS militants pounded their military base with mortar rounds while heavy clash erupted between the two sides, the source anonymously told Xinhua.
Also in the province, two soldiers were killed and five others wounded in mortar barrage on their base in southeast of Fallujah, the source said, adding that a policeman was killed and four others wounded in separate mortar barrage in the town of Khaldiyah, some 80 km west of Baghdad.
The attacks came as Iraqi security forces and allied Hashd Shaabi paramilitary militias have been fighting for months to retake control of key cities and towns in the largest province from the extremist IS militants, which seized most of Anbar and tried to advance toward Baghdad.