Baghdad: Air strikes and clashes with Islamic State (IS) militants in Iraq’s western province of Anbar led to the death of 33 people with 39 others injured on Wednesday, media reported. The deadliest incident occurred when two suicide bombers wearing explosive-vests detonated themselves near security forces and allied militias, known as Hashd Shaabi, in an area near the town of Haditha, a security source told Xinhua on condition of anonymity. Heavy clashes between troops and dozens of IS militants followed the two blasts, the source said. The battles left 11 security members and militiamen dead with 16 others wounded, while eight militants were killed. Meanwhile, three security members were killed and six others wounded in a mortar barrage by IS militants against a military base at a key dam near the town of Haditha on the Euphrates river, the source said.
Independently, US-led coalition warplanes bombarded two houses, believed to be IS militant hideouts, in the Gasriyat area, east of Anbar’s provincial capital city of Ramadi. The airstrike killed six IS militants and wounded nine others, another security source in the province anonymously told Xinhua, citing intelligence reports. Also in Anbar, Iraqi aircraft bombed the Albu-Shejil area north of the IS-held city of Fallujah, killing five people and wounding eight others, the source added. Iraqi security forces and allied Hashd Shaabi paramilitary militias have been fighting for months to regain control of key cities and towns back from IS militants in the largest province of Anbar, as IS seized most of Anbar province, then attempted to advance towards Baghdad.