World Bulletin/News Desk
One Iraqi officer and eight militants were killed on Saturday and Sunday in fierce fighting in the central province of Babil between army forces and militants from the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) group, according to local authorities.
"An army captain was killed and 31 soldiers injured during clashes in Al-Farsiya in northwestern Babil over the past 24 hours," said a statement by the provincial council's security department on Sunday.
"Around 13 ISIL militants were killed or injured as an initial toll for the casualties among the militants," the statement added.
A security source, however, told Anadolu Agency that at least eight militants were killed and five others injured in the gunfight.
Military helicopters and tanks partially withdrew on Sunday after destroying a number of ISIL hideouts during the operation in the area, he added.
Iraq has been the scene of rising violence over the past months with car bombings and assassinations killing hundreds of people.
The Iraqi army had unleashed a wide-scale operation aimed at hunting down ISIL militants, especially in the western Sunni Anbar province.Last Mod: 09 Şubat 2014, 13:42