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25 killed in violence across Iraq

Saturday, 5 April 2014 - 8:48pm IST | Place: Baghdad | Agency: IANS

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Twenty five people were killed and 33 wounded in violence across Iraq, mainly in the western province of Anbar Saturday, police said.

In Anbar province, an Iraqi army troops clashed with militants linked to Daash militant group in al-Malahmah area near the town of Khaldiyah, some 80 km west of Iraq's capital Baghdad, killing 11 militants and wounding 18, Xinhua reported citing a statement issued by the provincial joint command.

Separately, fierce clashes erupted in the morning between militants affiliated to the Daash group, and Iraqi police backed by pro-government tribesmen in al-Soufiyah district in the southern part of the provincial capital city of Ramadi, killing six militants, two policemen and two tribal fighters, a provincial police source told Xinhua.

In Fallujah, a civilian was killed and nine others were wounded when army artillery pounded several neighbourhoods in the besieged city, some 50 km west of Baghdad, the source said.

Also in Anbar, Iraqi army helicopter gunships pounded insurgents' positions in the village of Zoubaa in Abu Ghraib area, the source 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.

In a separate incident, a soldier was killed and three others were wounded when a roadside bomb struck their patrol in Tarmiyah area, some 40 km north of Baghdad, a local police source said.

In Iraq's eastern province of Diyala, a roadside bomb detonated near a police patrol in the city of Maqdadiyah, near the provincial capital city of Baquba, leaving a policeman dead and an officer wounded, a provincial police source told Xinhua.

Police clashed with a wanted local leader of an insurgent militant group, named al-Naqshabandiya organisation, and shot him dead during an operation outside the city of Jalawlaa, the source said.

Also in the province, two soldiers were wounded in a roadside bomb explosion near their patrol in Naft Khana area, some 135 km northeast of Baquba, the source added.

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.

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