World Bulletin / News Desk
At least 18 people have been killed in ongoing clashes between the Iraqi army and armed tribesmen in the central city of Ramadi, a tribal source said Friday.
"The clashes left nine army personnel and as many tribesmen, including a woman and child, dead," the source, who preferred anonymity, told Anadolu Agency.
Five tribesmen were also injured in the confrontations, he added.
During the clashes, armed tribesmen managed to destroy two tanks and four army Humvees, while also seizing an armored military vehicle and three Humvees, the source said.
"Clashes are still ongoing in northern and northwestern Ramadi," he added.
AA could not verify the source's assertions.
The Iraqi army, for its part, has yet to comment on the reports.
Since December, the army has been carrying out a wide-scale campaign with the stated aim of hunting down Al-Qaeda-linked militants in the two main cities of the Sunni-dominated Anbar province – capital Ramadi and Fallujah.
However, local Sunni tribes opposed to the Shiite-dominated government of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki voice anger over continued civilian causalities and have engaged in occasional clashes with government troops deployed in the area.
ISIL militants 'flushed out' of Saladin neighborhood
The Iraqi army on Friday asserted that it had regained control of a neighborhood in the town of Tuz Khormato in Iraq's northern Saladin province that had fallen into the hands of the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIL) on Thursday.
"Government troops seized full control of the Suleiman Beik neighborhood after ISIL militants were flushed out following fierce clashes that left ten ISIL militants dead, including two Syrians," Col. Jassim Mahmoud Hassan of the Iraqi army's Tigris Operations Command told Anadolu Agency.
At least 37 ISIL fighters were also arrested in the operation in the area, he added.
Taleb Mohamed, a local official, told Anadolu Agency on Thursday that ISIL fighters had assumed control of the neighborhood after capturing a number of surrounding villages.
Fighters also stormed several government offices and took up positions around the neighborhood, forcing local residents to flee their homes, he said.
The volatile town of Tuz Khormato, which is disputed between the Baghdad government and the Kurdish administration in northern Iraq, has recently seen a series of bombings that have claimed scores of lives.
The country in general has seen a spike in violence in recent months, with bombings and assassinations killing hundreds of people.
Most attacks go unclaimed, but authorities usually point the finger at al-Qaeda-linked groups.Last Mod: 15 Şubat 2014, 09:36