Middle East

Unrest in Fallujah killed 22 on Sunday: doctor

A member of the Iraqi security forces stands outise a burnt house during fighting with anti-government fighters on May 21, 2014 in the city of Ramadi, west of the capital Baghdad in the Anbar province. (AFP PHOTO / AZHAR SHALLAL)

BAGHDAD: Clashes and shelling on Sunday in and around the conflict-hit city of Fallujah, which lies just a short drive from Baghdad, killed 22 people, a doctor said.

The unrest, which also left 36 wounded, struck in multiple areas of the city and its outskirts, Doctor Ahmed Shami at the city's main hospital said on Monday.

Tribal leader Mahmud al-Zobaie said the violence broke out at mid-day and continued for several hours.

He said shelling hit a half-dozen neighbourhoods in northern, southern and central Fallujah, while Iraqi security forces engaged in clashes with anti-government fighters on the city's northern and southern outskirts.

More than 350 people have been killed in the Fallujah area since militants took control of the city at the beginning of the year, according to Shami, adding that most of the casualties were civilians who were caught in the army's shelling of the city.

Security forces have shelled Fallujah for months and repeatedly tried to storm the city in a bid to re-take it, but anti-government fighters have held sway over it.

Human Rights Watch said last month that Iraqi authorities have likely violated the laws of war by targeting Fallujah hospital in the shelling.





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