Some 18 members of the Iraqi security forces and tribal militants were killed and seven injured in clashes with Islamic State (IS) militants west of the city of Ramadi, security sources said.
Dozens of IS militants attacked the eastern outskirt of the town of Haditha, about 170 km west of Ramadi, on Friday, , a provincial security source told Xinhua on condition of anonymity
He added that the IS militants blew up a military vehicle driven by a suicide bomber into the Iraqi forces during the clashes, killing 18 of them and wounding seven others.
The security forces killed eight militants and destroyed a number of their vehicles, while the rest fled into the nearby desert region.
It should be noted that the IS has been waging attacks for several consecutive days on the outskirt of Haditha, using suicide bombers and car bombs, but it has not yet been able to break through the fortifications of the Iraqi security forces, the source said.
Late in December, the Iraqi security forces announced the liberation of Ramadi, as the troops raised the Iraqi flag on the government complex in center of the city. Other parts of the city, however, has not yet been fully secured due to a large number of bombs planted earlier by IS militants before many of them either withdrew to rural areas outside Ramadi or were redeployed in the eastern part of the city.
The troops have been fighting for months to retake control of key cities and towns in Iraq's largest province of Anbar from the IS militants, who have seized most of Anbar and tried to advance towards Baghdad.