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Iraqi forces retake town from IS

Updated: 2014-11-21 10:20

BAGHDAD - Iraqi security forces on Thursday retook control of a town from Islamic State (IS) militant group in eastern Iraq, and are fighting to seize another in the west, security sources and an official said.

In Iraq's eastern province of Diyala, Iraqi security forces backed by Shiite militias and Kurdish security forces, known as Peshmerga, managed to retake control of the town of Saadiyah, some 120 km northeast of the Iraqi capital Baghdad, after two days of fierce battles, a provincial security source told Xinhua.

The troops entered the town from two directions, killing at least seven IS militants and destroying five of their vehicles, the source said.

In Anbar province, Iraqi security forces backed by allied militiamen and aircraft carried out an offensive against the IS militants from the town of al-Baghdadi, some 200 km northwest of Baghdad, to free the nearby town of Heet, an official with al- Baghdadi's town council told Xinhua.

The troops freed al-Dolab and several areas near the town of Heet, which have been under the control of the IS militants since late last month. They are fighting on the outskirts of Heet, some 160 km west of Baghdad, the official said, without giving further details about casualties.

Also in the province, a suicide car bomber blew up his explosive-laden car on a highway near Albu-Farraj area, just north of the provincial capital city of Ramadi, some 110 km west of Baghdad, leaving five people killed and ten others wounded, a provincial police source told Xinhua on condition of anonymity.

In Salahudin province, at least six IS militant were killed and two wounded in clashes in the early morning during clashes with the al-Jubour Sunni tribesmen in the town of Dhuluiyah, some 90 km north of Baghdad, a police chief of the town told Xinhua. Jubour tribesmen and local police have been fighting IS militants for months, and repelled many of their attacks.

Meanwhile, army helicopter gunships pounded IS positions north of Dhuluiyah and killed eight militants, the police chief said.

In addition, Iraqi security forces and Shiite militias repelled an attack by IS militants on the town of Balad, some 80 km north of Baghdad, leaving 22 militants killed and destroying two vehicles carrying heavy machine guns, a provincial security source told Xinhua on condition of anonymity.

Separately, fierce clashes erupted between IS militants and fighters from Albu Hishma Sunni tribe in the town of Yathrib, just south of Dhuluiyah, killing an IS leader and one of his aides, the source added.

The security situation in Iraq began to drastically deteriorate on June 10, when bloody clashes broke out between the Iraqi security forces and the IS group, an al-Qaida offshoot, who took control of the country's northern province of Nineveh and later seized swathes of territories after Iraqi security forces abandoned their posts in other predominantly Sunni provinces.

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