Militants launch attacks around Iraq's western Ramadi city

BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Suspected Islamic State militants launched coordinated attacks on Friday around the western Iraqi city of Ramadi, overrunning a village to the east and clashing with tribal fighters to the west, a local official and a tribal leader said. Ramadi, about 90 km (55 miles) west of Baghdad, is located in the Sunni Muslim Anbar province which is a stronghold of the Islamic State forces who have captured much of northern and western Iraq. The city center remains under the control of Iraqi government forces but outlying neighborhoods have been seized by the radical Islamist fighters. Hathal al-Fahdawi, a member of the Anbar Provincial Council, said Friday's attacks started around 3 am (midnight GMT). Islamic State fighters took over the village of Al Shujairiya, about 20 km east of Ramadi, where fighting was still going on. Security forces killed 12 militants who tried to storm a mosque and a house close to Shujairiya, said Rafie Fahdawi, a tribal leader. Police, army and tribal fighters were being sent as reinforcement. Hathal Fahdawi said there was also fierce fighting to the west of Ramadi, although there were no details of casualties, and clashes to the north and south. (Reporting by Raheem Salman; Writing by Dominic Evans; Editing by Angus MacSwan)

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