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Baghdad, April 11(IANS) – Islamic State (IS) militants executed 33 people, including women and children, near the city of Ramadi, the capital of Iraq’s western province of Anbar, a provincial security source said on Saturday.
The IS militants captured the 33 people on Friday after they took control of Albu Farraj area north of Ramadi, 110 km west of the Iraq’s capital Baghdad, the source told Xinhua news agency.
Late Friday, the IS group executed 15 people for allegedly cooperating with security forces and government-backed Sahwa Sunni paramilitary groups, the source said, adding that the 18 other Albu Farraj residents were executed later for similar reasons.
All the victims were shot dead with bullets in their heads, the source said.
On Friday morning, the IS militants carried out attacks on Albu Farraj area from several directions and after fierce clashes with the security forces and allied Sunni tribesmen, the group captured large parts of the area located on the northern side of the Euphrates river which separates the area from the city of Ramadi, the source said.
Friday’s battles in Albu Farraj forced dozens of families to leave their homes and go to Ramadi, which itself is partially seized by the IS militants, the source added.
Early on Saturday, the US-led coalition aircraft carried out an airstrike against the IS positions in Albu Farraj area, the source said, as the area is still under control of the Sunni radical group.
Meanwhile, the Iraqi forces and allied militias, known as Hashid Shaabi, or Popular Mobilisation, withdrew from the al-Sajariyah area, just east of Ramadi, and entered the nearby Habbaniyah airbase, the source said, adding that the move was apparently to let the international coalition aircraft carry out airstrikes on the IS positions at the scene.
The withdrawal came three days after the security forces backed by thousands of allied Shia and Sunni militias took control of Sajariyah after fierce clashes.
Wednesday’s operation was designed to cut the supply routes of the IS militants between Ramadi and the nearby airbase of Habbaniyah, as well as to seize the roads between the partially IS-held Ramadi and the militant-seized city of Fallujah, some 50 km west of Baghdad.