3 Jan 2014

Fighting in Iraqi cities

10:34 am on 3 January 2014

There is fighting in Iraq in the cities of Fallujah and Ramadi between government special forces and members of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, which is linked to al-Qaeda.

A burning police car in Ramadi.

A burning police car in Ramadi. Photo: AFP

A senior police officer was quoted on Thursday as saying ISIS fighters had seized at least 10 police stations and had freed a number of prisoners.

ISIS fighters have posted videos of themselves burning government vehicles, setting up checkpoints and issuing challenges to the authority of Prime Minister Nouri Maliki, who is a Shia.

Both Fallujah and Ramadi are in the province of Anbar, where a Sunni MP was arrested at the weekend and security forces broke up an anti-government protest camp in Ramadi on Monday. Clashes continued for two days afterwards.

Also on Thursday, a suicide car bomb in the town of Baladruz killed at least 12 people and wounded about 25 others.

The bomb went off outside a car showroom in the town, which is 73km northeast of Baghdad.