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15 killed in clashes, attacks in Iraq

Updated: 2014-01-10 10:32
( Xinhua)

RAMADI, Iraq - At least 15 people, including eight al-Qaida militants, were killed and eight others wounded in clashes and attacks in Iraq's western province of Anbar and near Baghdad on Thursday evening, police said.

A police commando force fought a fierce clash with al-Qaida militants in a desert area near the town of Khaldiyah, some 80 km west of the Iraqi capital of Baghdad, killing eight militants and destroying three of their vehicles, a provincial police source told Xinhua on condition of anonymity.

Also in Anbar, a car bomb detonated near the house of Sheikh Zamil al-Ghanimi, a tribal leader and a leader of a government- backed Sahwa paramilitary group in al-Soufiyah district in the northeast of the provincial capital city of Ramadi, some 110 km west of Baghdad, killing a civilian and wounding two others, the source said.

Ghanimi himself escaped the attack as he was not at home when the blast occurred, the source added.

Meanwhile, an army force chased three gunmen carrying roadside bombs in their car and shot them dead in Abu Ghraib area, some 25 km west of Baghdad, a local police source anonymously told Xinhua.

Earlier in the evening, a provincial police source told Xinhua that three police commandos were killed and six others wounded when a suicide bomber blew up his explosive-laden car near a crowd of members of a Special Weapons and Tactics force in al-Soufiyah district in Ramadi.

Earlier on Thursday, Anbar province has been the scene of sporadic fierce clashes that flared up after Iraqi police dismantled an anti-government protest site outside Ramadi in late December.

Iraq is witnessing its worst violence in recent years. According to the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq, a total of 8,868 Iraqis were killed in 2013, including 7,818 civilians and civilian police personnel, which is the highest annual death toll for years.

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