Iraqi Forces Take Back Border City
    2014-06-17 01:16:34     Xinhua       Web Editor: Fei

The Iraqi security forces on Monday take back a city in western province of Anbar from militants, while the Sunni militants took full control of a city in northern part of the country, a security and an official said.

The Iraqi army, police and border guards fought sporadic clashes with gunmen in the city of Qaim, some 330 km northwest of the capital Baghdad, and took over the city, according to a police source in Anbar province.

The troops also waged an offensive on the border line with Syria, and retook the posts they left late Wednesday after battles with insurgents, the source said.

Meanwhile, the Iraqi air force carried out several airstrikes on some neighborhoods in the city of Fallujah, some 50 km west of Baghdad, killing 13 people, wounding 10 others and damaging several houses, a local provincial police source said.

In Iraq's northern provincial of Nineveh, Sunni militants, including the militants linked to the Islamic State in Iraq and Levant (ISIL), an al-Qaida offshoot, have took full control of the city of Tal Afar, some 70 km west of Nineveh's provincial capital Mosul, after fierce clashes with Iraqi security forces and volunteers from the residents, Mohammed Abdul Qader, head of the city council, told Xinhua.

"Tal Afar has fallen in the hands of the militants of Daash ( known as the ISIL) after they heavily pounded the city with mortar rounds and rockets since last night," Abdul Qader said.

"The defenders of the city have withdrawn after the run out of their ammunition," he said, adding that many of the security officers disappeared after the battle.

The Sunni-majority province of Nineveh and its capital Mosul has long been a stronghold for insurgent groups, including al- Qaida militants, since the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in 2003.

Large parts of the province are now in the hands of militant groups since last week after bloody clashes with Iraqi security forces. The militant groups later seized swathes of territories after the Iraqi security forces withdrew from their posts in Nineveh and other predominantly Sunni provinces.

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