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125 killed in month-long battles of Iraq's Anbar

Updated: 2014-01-27 18:16
( Xinhua)

BAGHDAD - Up to 125 people were killed and 541 others wounded in month-long battles in Iraq's volatile province of Anbar between anti-government Sunni tribes and Iraqi army, officials said on Monday.

"The hospitals and medical centers in the province have received 125 bodies and 541 wounded people in civilian and military uniforms, between December 30, 2013, and January 25, 2014," head of the provincial health department, Khudair Khalaf Shalal, told Xinhua.

Meanwhile, an official from the main hospital in Fallujah, some 50 km west of the Iraqi capital of Baghdad, said that Fallujah Hospital alone has received 72 bodies of civilians and 305 others wounded by the clashes and the sporadic shelling in the city during the past month.

"The toll from the indiscriminate artillery and mortar shelling in the city of Fallujah during the past month was 72 killed and 305 people wounded," the official told Xinhua on condition of anonymity.

Anbar's provincial capital city of Ramadi and Fallujah have been the main scenes of fierce clashes that flared up after Iraqi police dismantled an anti-government protest site outside Ramadi in late December last year.

The United Nations refugee agency on Friday said that more than 65,000 people had fled the conflict in the cities of Fallujah and Ramadi in central Iraq's Anbar province over the past week, bringing the total number of people uprooted since fighting began at the end of 2013 to more than 140,000.

The displacement figures, provided by Iraq's Ministry of Displacement and Migration, are the largest the country has witnessed since the sectarian violence of 2006-2008 and are a result of deadly clashes between Iraqi troops and tribal fighters, in addition to gunmen linked al-Qaida.

The Sunnis have been carrying out a year-long protest, accusing the Shiite-led government of marginalizing them and its Shiite- dominated security forces of indiscriminately arresting, torturing and killing their sons.

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