"The Iraqi forces, a police source said, launched the offensive around Fallujah from all four directions supported by heavy bombardment of some areas where militants were supposed to be operating."
Baghdad, May 10 - At least 16 civilians and dozens of anti-government fighters were killed Friday when Iraqi security forces launched attacks around Fallujah city which has been seized by militant groups for months, military and police said.

The ongoing operations were launched by Iraqi army troops, anti- terrorism forces and interior ministry forces and in cooperation with tribal leaders in Anbar province, Xinhua quoted the Iraqi defense ministry as saying in a statement.

Dozens of members of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant -, an Al Qaeda branch in Iraq, were killed in the operations that aimed at expelling militants from Fallujah, the statement said.

The Iraqi forces, a police source said, launched the offensive around Fallujah from all four directions supported by heavy bombardment of some areas where militants were supposed to be operating.

Many people who had been staying in Fallujah seemed to leave the city as random artillery and mortar shelling struck many districts in the city since the mid-night until Friday morning, killing nine civilians and wounding 28, the source said.


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