34 militants killed in airstrikes in Iraq

Baghdad, Feb 10 (IANS) At lest 34 Islamic State militants were killed in air strikes by Iraqi and US-led coalition aircraft and artillery shelling in Iraq’s western province of Anbar, a provincial security source told Xinhua.

The international aircraft carried out an air strike on IS positions in a village near the town of Baghdadi leaving 22 IS militants killed and three of their vehicles destroyed, the source said on condition of anonymity.

Separately, 12 IS militants were killed by the army artillery and helicopter gunships bombarded IS positions in Saqlawiyah area, just north of the IS-held city of Fallujah, the source said.

Meanwhile, a civilian was killed and 20 others wounded when IS militants fired mortar rounds on the government-held town of Amriyat al-Fallujah, the source added.

In earlier report on Tuesday, the Iraqi military said in a statement that the security forces recaptured the eastern part of the provincial capital city of Ramadi.

The statement also said that the troops also seized the highway between Ramadi and Baghdad which passes through the town of Khaldiyah as well as the military airbase of Habbaniyah where US troops and allied coalition military personnel stationed.

The military statement was an official announcement for the liberation of the areas in eastern Ramadi, as the troops had launched a major offensive to flush out IS militants from Ramadi and declared a victory on December 28 when the troops captured the city, raising the Iraqi flag on the government complex there.

Government troops and allied militias have also been fighting for months to take back other key cities and towns in Anbar, Iraq’ s largest province, from IS militants, who previously seized most of Anbar and tried to advance toward Baghdad.

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