The Iraqi security forces has killed 40 militants in fierce clashes near the capital Baghdad, the Interior Ministry said on Thursday. The security forces foiled an attempt by al-Qaida-linked militant groups to storm a military base in Dwiyliba area outside the town of Yousifiyah, some 25 km south of Baghdad, the ministry said. One army officer was killed in the battles, which also resulted in the seizing of two heavy machine-guns, 15 rifles and five grenade launchers. Iraq has witnessed the worst violence after police dismantled an anti-government protest site outside Ramadi in late December last year. Fierce clashes have since flared up in Anbar province in the west of the country.