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Iraqi officials: Clashes, suicide attack kill 5 people in embattled western Anbar province

  • 35e4318643091202490f6a7067006e19.jpg

    In this Wednesday, Jan. 15, 2014 photo, gunmen hold their weapons as they patrol Fallujah, 65 kilometers (40 miles) west of Baghdad, Iraq. Iraqi airstrikes pounded a town near Fallujah that had been seized by al-Qaida linked militants and commandos swept in Wednesday to clear the area, senior military officials said. It was a rare victory for government forces that have been struggling for nearly three weeks to regain control of the mainly Sunni area west of Baghdad. (AP Photo)The Associated Press

  • ab22e16b43091202490f6a706700d282.jpg

    In this Wednesday, Jan. 15, 2014 photo, gunmen hold their weapons as they patrol Fallujah, 65 kilometers (40 miles) west of Baghdad, Iraq. Iraqi airstrikes pounded a town near Fallujah that had been seized by al-Qaida linked militants and commandos swept in Wednesday to clear the area, senior military officials said. It was a rare victory for government forces that have been struggling for nearly three weeks to regain control of the mainly Sunni area west of Baghdad. (AP Photo)The Associated Press

Iraqi officials say clashes with militants and a suicide attack have killed five people, including three anti-al-Qaida Sunni fighters, in the embattled western Anbar province.

Hospital officials say a battle between security forces and al-Qaida fighters early on Friday in the city of Fallujah, west of Baghdad, killed two civilians who were caught in the crossfire.

Police officials say a suicide bomber detonated his explosives among a gathering of an anti-al-Qaida militia late Thursday in the Anbar provincial capital of Ramadi, killing three militiamen and wounding four.

All officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to media.

Since December, Iraqi security forces and allied Sunni tribesmen have been trying to recapture territories overran by al-Qaida in Anbar, including Fallujah and parts of Ramadi.