4 Jan 2014

Parts of 2 cities still controlled by Sunni fighters

3:14 pm on 4 January 2014

Sunni fighters linked to al-Qaeda are reportedly still in control of parts of two cities in western Iraq.

Fierce fighting continues as government troops try to force members of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant ISIS out of Ramadi and Fallujah.

A leader of a tribal militia fighting with government forces said more than 60 ISIS fighters have been killed in or near Ramadi.

The BBC reports the clashes began on Monday after troops dismantled a protest camp in the city.

After the troops withdrew on Tuesday, police stations in Ramadi and Fallujah were stormed by ISIS fighters who freed prisoners and seized weapons.

Black flags were raised on buildings in both cities and calls issued over the loudspeakers of mosques for people to join the struggle.

Soldiers were sent back on Wednesday by Prime Minister Nouri Maliki who offered weapons and money to tribal leaders for their support.