World Bulletin / News Desk
Clashes re-erupted on Wednesday between Iraqi government troops and armed tribesmen in the central city of Fallujah, leaving a number of injured, a tribal source said.
"Fierce clashes broke out in the morning between armed tribesmen and army troops on the international highway in eastern Fallujah," the source, who asked not to be named, told Anadolu Agency.
The clashes were still ongoing as of 8am (GMT), he added.
According to the source, the army shelled several residential areas of the predominately Sunni city, leaving a number of residents injured. Scores of local families fled the bombardment to the western part of the city, he added.
No military officials could be reached for immediate comment on the alleged artillery barrage.
Clashes erupted in the Anbar province last week after troops dispersed a months-old sit-in in provincial capital Ramadi staged by tribesmen opposed to the government of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.
The sit-in dispersal came two days after Sunni lawmaker Ahmed al-Alwani, a prominent anti-Maliki protest organizer, was arrested by Iraqi forces in a raid on his Ramadi home. Six people were killed in the raid, including al-Alwani's brother.
Tribal chieftains oppose the presence of army troops in the area and have vowed to fight off any military forces dispatched to the province.
In a Monday statement, al-Maliki called on Fallujah tribesmen and residents to "flush out the terrorists from their neighborhoods to avoid the dangers of armed confrontation."
But Majid al-Guraisi, chief of the Al-Guraisat tribe, had told AA earlier that most militants from the Al-Qaeda-allied Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant had withdrawn from Fallujah, leaving the Iraqi army and tribesmen locked in a violent showdown.Last Mod: 08 Ocak 2014, 12:11