A total of 25 security members were killed and 34 others wounded on Sunday in two suicide truck bomb attacks during clashes between Iraqi security forces and Islamic State (IS) militants in the western province of Anbar, a provincial security source said.
In one of the attacks, 15 soldiers and allied members of paramilitary units, known as Hashd Shaabi, were killed and 27 others wounded when a suicide bomber drove his explosive-laden military truck into a military base and detonated it in Albu Eitha area, just northeast of the IS-held provincial capital city of Ramadi, some 110 km west of Baghdad, the source told Xinhua on condition of anonymity.
The huge blast was followed by fierce clashes when dozens of IS militants attacked the military base but were repelled by the troops, the source said, adding that many of IS militants were killed by the clashes but could give the exact number of their casualty.
Separately, another suicide bomber rammed his booby-trapped vehicle into a military base at Albu Aziz village in northeast of the militant-seized city of Fallujah, some 50 km west of the Iraqi capital of Baghdad, leaving ten soldiers and allied Hashd Shaabi members killed and seven others wounded, the source added.
The security forces have reached the edges of Ramadi and imposed siege on the extremist militants inside, preparing for a major battle to free the city, while the army artillery and aircraft intensified their bombardment on the IS positions in the city, the source said.
The attacks came as Iraqi security forces and allied militias have been fighting for months to retake control of key cities and towns in Iraq's largest province from the extremist IS militants, which seized most of Anbar and tried to advance toward Baghdad.