BAGHDAD, (Xinhua): Eleven people were killed and 28 others wounded on Thursday in separate attacks across Iraq, including battles in restive Anbar province, official and police said.
In eastern province of Anbar, anti-government Sunni tribal fighters attacked an army checkpoint in Ne’imiyah area, just south of the city of Fallujah, some 50 km west of the Iraqi capital of Baghdad, leaving two soldiers killed and four wounded, a provincial police source told Xinhua on condition of anonymity.
In a separate incident, the tribal fighters attacked a police checkpoint in Ta’mim district in the southern part of the provincial capital city of Ramadi, some 110 km west of Baghdad, killing four policemen and wounding three others, the source said.
Also in the province, Sunni tribal fighters seized the al- Malahma and Albu-Dhiyab areas on the edge of Ramadi after they fought fierce clashes with the army troops backed by allied tribesmen, the source added.
The troops also lost control of two police stations in the center of the city after the clashes with the anti-government fighters, he said without giving details about casualties.
Meanwhile, a member of a government- backed Sahwa paramilitary group was killed when a sticky bomb attached to his car detonated in Abu Ghraib area, some 25 km west of Baghdad, he added.
Anbar province has been the scene of fierce clashes that flared up after Iraqi police dismantled an anti-government protest site outside Ramadi in late December last year.
Elsewhere, militant groups took control of the town of Sulaiman Beg, some 90 km east of Salahudin’s provincial capital city of Tikrit, after clashes with security forces in the early hours of the day, Talib Hameed Mustafa, mayor of the town, told Xinhua by phone.
The security forces could not stand long in front of a large number of gunmen, who spread in the streets of the town, Mustafa said, adding that in the morning, the gunmen took control of several suburbs and villages around the town.
Reinforcement from other cities started to move toward the town, while many families began to leave for fear of battles, Mustafa added.
Salahudin province is a Sunni-dominated province and its capital, Tikrit, some 170 km north of Baghdad, is the hometown of former President Saddam Hussein.
In downtown Baghdad, two roadside bombs detonated in and near al-Qadsiyah building in the major commercial area of Shorja, leaving a civilian dead and nine others wounded, a police source told Xinhua on condition of anonymity.
In Iraq’s eastern province of Diyala, three people were killed and 12 wounded when two roadside bombs detonated in quick succession near the provincial capital of Baquba, some 65 km northeast of Baghdad, a provincial police source told Xinhua.
Iraq is witnessing its worst violence in recent years. According to the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq, a total of 8,868 Iraqis, including 7,818 civilians and civilian police personnel, were killed in 2013, the highest annual death toll in years.