Ramadi, Feb 6 (IANS) A total of 15 Iraqi security members were killed and 21 injured on Saturday in suicide car bomb attacks by Islamic State (IS) militants and a blast in a booby-trapped house in Iraq’s Anbar province, a source said.
An IS suicide bomber rammed his explosives-laden vehicle into a military convoy on the main road leading to the military airbase of Ain al-Asad airbase destroying three military vehicles, killing nine soldiers aboard and injuring 16 others, Xinhua quoted a provincial official as saying.
Ain al-Asad military base is used by Iraqi military forces and houses hundreds of US Marines as military trainers and advisers.
In a separate incident, US-led coalition warplanes bombarded two suicide truck bombs in Huseiba al-Shrqiyah area as the two vehicles were said to have been on their way to attack the positions of the security forces in Sajjariyah district of Ramadi, the source said.
Sajjariyah district has been freed recently by security forces from IS militants and allied Sunni tribal fighters, but clearing operations continued as the militants densely planted bombs in buildings, whilst small groups of IS militants were still carrying out sporadic attacks against the troops using the buildings as hideouts.
Also on Saturday, a booby-trapped house detonated during a search operation in the district of Soufiyah in eastern Ramadi, leaving six security members dead and five others injured, the source added.
In an earlier report on Saturday, a provincial security source said Iraqi security forces backed by US-led coalition aircraft repelled an attack by IS militants with three suicide truck bombs on a military base in Nadhem al-Tharthar area of Ramadi.
He said the troops fought back the attackers and destroyed two truck bombs with anti-tank guided missiles before reaching their target, while aircraft of the US-led coalition pounded the IS militants and destroyed the third truck bomb at the desert area outside the targeted military base.
According to the source, seven security members were reportedly injured in the clashes with the IS, while at least four IS militants and the three suicide bombers were killed.
Government troops and allied militias have been fighting for months now in order to regain control of key cities from IS militants in the towns in Anbar, Iraq’s largest province, as IS militants had previously seized most of Anbar and attempted to advance towards Baghdad.
Iraq currently witnesses a massive wave of violence since the IS gained control of sections of Iraq’s northern and western regions in June 2014, when surprisingly Iraqi government forces abandoned their weapons and posts and fled.