A masked Sunni Muslim gunman takes position with his weapon during clashes with Iraqi security forces outside the city of Falluja, 70 km (44 miles) west of Baghdad, January 19, 2014. Iraqi Sunni Muslim tribesmen backed by police special forces and helicopter gunships attacked al Qaeda-linked militants in the nearby city of Ramadi on Sunday, but halted the assault after at least eight of their number were killed, police and health officials said. There was no word on casualties among the militants. The Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, an al Qaeda offshoot also fighting in Syria, and its local allies overran parts of Ramadi, as well as Falluja, on January 1 after security forces broke up a Sunni protest camp near Ramadi and arrested an outspoken Sunni lawmaker. REUTERS/Stringer (IRAQ - Tags: CIVIL UNREST POLITICS CONFLICT)
BAGHDAD (AP) — An official says fierce clashes have erupted between Iraqi special forces and al-Qaida-linked militants in a village in western Anbar province.
Provincial spokesman Dhari al-Rishawi says Friday's clashes were taking place in al-Bubali, a village that lies between two main cities in Anbar, Fallujah and Ramadi.
The two cities are under siege by Iraqi security forces and their allies from Sunni tribes who are fighting to recapture Fallujah and Ramadi, which partially came under the control of fighters from the al-Qaida-linked group known as the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant.
A police officer says several army vehicles were damaged by roadside bombs planted around the village by the militants. The officer spoke on condition of anonymity because he is not authorized to speak to media.