Iraqi forces kill Islamist militants in Anbar
A Defense Ministry statement said most of the ISIS-linked militants had been killed in the outskirts of Ramadi
Iraqi troops and allied tribesmen killed 57 Islamist militants in Anbar province on Monday, the Defense Ministry said.
There was no independent verification of the toll among the militants who belong to the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), a jihadist group also fighting in Syria.
The Defense Ministry statement said most of the 57 militants had been killed in the outskirts of Ramadi, giving few details, Reuters reported.
Since December 2013, Iraqi forces, along with the police and tribal forces, have been battling to regain control over areas in Anbar, which shares a 300 kilometer border with Syria.
Parts of Ramadi and Fallujah have been held by militants for weeks, harkening back to the years after the 2003 U.S.-led invasion when both cities in Anbar province were insurgent strongholds.
Meanwhile on Monday, attacks in and around Baghdad, including four car bombs detonated in several different neighborhoods, killed at least 12 people, security and medical officials told Agence France-Presse.
Eight people died as a result of the explosions while authorities also found four bodies, bearing sings of torture, of people who had been shot dead earlier on Monday.
Of those who died in explosions, five people were killed in two separate car bombs while three others were killed by vehicles rigged with explosives in the Baghdad neighborhoods of Baladiyat and Hurriyah.
In western Baghdad, police found the bodies of one woman and three men who had been killed with gunshots to the head, officials told AFP.
More than 1,000 people were killed in Iraq in January, official data showed on Friday, as security forces grapple with a surge in bloodshed and a standoff with militants.
A total of 1,013 people - 795 civilians, 122 soldiers and 96 policemen - died as a result of violence, according to data compiled by the ministries of health, interior and defence.
The figures also showed that 2,024 people were wounded: 1,633 civilians, 238 soldiers and 153 policemen. Security forces killed 189 militants and arrested 458 more.
January's overall death toll is the highest released by the ministries since April 2008, when 1,073 people were killed.
(With AFP and Reuters)
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