Deadly attack launched on Iraq’s Fallujah
Security forces have launched an operation to retake areas near Fallujah, which has been held by anti-government fighters
At least 16 people have been killed after a shelling had hit the Iraqi city of Fallujah on Saturday, Agence France-Presse reported.
Doctor Ahmed Shami of the city's main hospital told AFP 20 people were also wounded in the attack.
Security forces have launched an operation to retake areas near Fallujah, which has been held by anti-government fighters for more than four months.
But such an assault is unlikely to occur soon, as troops have struggled all year to regain territory in Anbar province from militants.
And they would face a major challenge in recapturing the city without causing civilian casualties and significant damage to infrastructure.
The bombardment and twin shootings that killed two people in Nineveh province in the north were the latest in a protracted surge of violence that has killed more than 3,100 people this year.
The violence comes as officials tally votes from Iraq’s April 30 elections, amid a protracted surge in bloodshed that the government has blamed on external factors such as the civil war in neighboring Syria.
But analysts and diplomats say widespread anger in the minority Sunni Arab community over alleged mistreatment at the hands of the Shiite-led authorities has played a major role in the violence.