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24 killed in Iraq fighting

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Baghdad: At least 24 people were killed and 29 wounded on Saturday in bomb attacks and clashes with Islamic State (IS) militants in Iraq’s western province of Anbar, media reported. In one attack, a suicide bomber detonated his explosive-laden military vehicle near the security forces and allied militias, known as Hashd Shaabi, in east of the IS-held city of Fallujah leaving six security members dead and nine wounded, the source told Xinhua on condition of anonymity. Meanwhile, troops fought fierce battles with IS militants in Huseiba al-Sharqiyah area in east of Ramadi killing five militants and destroying one of their vehicles, the source said.

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Four policemen were killed and nine wounded in clashes with IS militants in Falahat area, just west of Fallujah, the source said without giving further details. Moreover, a policeman was killed and five wounded in an IS mortar barrage on a police station in Habbaniyah area, some 80 km west of Baghdad, the source added. Separately, three border guard officers and five guards were killed and six wounded when two roadside bombs went off near a convoy of army vehicles at Trebil border crossing with Jordan which is located in a remote area of Anbar province’s desert area, the source said, adding that the blasts also destroyed two military vehicles.

(IANS)

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Syrian Army captures historic Citadel of the country’s Ancient oasis city of Palmyra

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Syrian Army (representational Image), Pixabay

Damascus, March 1, 2017: The Syrian Army captured the historic citadel of the country’s ancient oasis city of Palmyra on Wednesday, after battles with the Islamic State, a military source told Xinhua.

The Syrian Army and allied fighters captured the Palmyra citadel west of the city, as well as the Qatari Castle southwest of Palmyra amid a collapse in the ranks of the IS militants, the source said on condition of anonymity.

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The IS fighters are fleeing toward the residential part of the city, he added.

The army unleashed a counter offensive 47 days ago to retake Palmyra, after the IS militants captured it for the second time last December.

The source said the city could entirely fall back to the army soon.

The IS thinks the city important as it connects areas under the terror group’s control in the eastern province of Deir al-Zour with areas under its control in the eastern countryside of the central province of Homs.

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 Palmyra contains monumental ruins of a great city that was one of the most important cultural centres of the ancient world.

Syria has many prehistoric, Greek, Byzantine and Islamic heritages. Before the crisis, Syria had attracted many multinational archaeological missions coming for new clues on historical facts on the development of civilisations. (IANS)

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