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31 killed in airstrikes and attacks across Iraq

Xinhua, April 12, 2015 Adjust font size:

A total of 31 people were killed in airstrikes against positions of the Islamic State (IS) militants and violent attacks across Iraq on Sunday, security sources said.

In Iraq's western province of Anbar, the international warplanes foiled an attack by the IS militants when they pounded three boats carrying extremist militants who were trying to cross Euphrates River to attack the town of al-Baghdadi, some 200 km northwest of the Iraqi capital of Baghdad, the source told Xinhua on condition of anonymity.

The airstrikes destroyed the three boats and killed at least 15 militants, the source said, adding that the IS militants who seize the open land near the town, responded to the airstrikes by firing mortar rounds on the town, leaving two government-backed Sunni paramilitary tribesmen killed and six others wounded.

Meanwhile, a federal police force backed by allied Sunni tribesmen and covered by U.S.-led coalition aircraft carried out an offensive on the IS positions in Albu Farraj area in northern the provincial capital city of Ramadi, some 110 km west of Baghdad, and managed to retake control of the police station and the surrounding area, the source said.

So far, at least 12 IS militants were killed in the battles in Albu Farraj which are still underway as the troops are fighting to free the whole area which IS militants seized two days ago, the source added.

On Friday morning, the IS militants carried out attacks on Albu Farraj area from several directions and after fierce clashes with the security forces and allied Sunni tribesmen, the extremist group captured large parts of the area located on the northern side of Euphrates River which separate the area from the city of Ramadi.

Friday battles in Albu Farraj forces dozens of families to leave their homes and resorted to Ramadi, which itself is partially seized by the IS militants.

Also in the province, the governor of Anbar province escaped unharmed a mortar barrage on his convoy in the city of Ramadi, while he was visiting a military base in the battlefield city, the source said.

"One vehicle of the of governor convoy was hit by the attack but there was no human casualty," the source added.

The IS group has seized parts of Iraq's largest province Anbar and tried to advance toward Baghdad, but several counter attacks by security forces and Shiite militias have pushed them back.

In Baghdad, two roadside bombs went off in a quick succession near a secondary school in Karrada district ion central the capital, leaving two people killed and eight others wounded, and caused damages to nearby buildings and shops, an Interior Ministry source anonymously told Xinhua.

The security situation in Iraq has been drastically deteriorated since June last year, when bloody clashes broke out between Iraqi security forces and the IS. Endit