ISIL kills dozens of Iraqi soldiers near Ramadi

Suicide car bombings hit two Iraqi army positions near western city recently reclaimed by Iraqi troops.

    ISIL kills dozens of Iraqi soldiers near Ramadi
    Iraqi forces also uncovered more than 40 bodies, including those of women and children, in a mass grave in Ramadi [AP]

    At least 55 Iraqi soldiers and pro-government tribal fighters have been killed in two attacks attributed to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) group in the country's western region, near the city of Ramadi.

    The first attack took place in the early hours of Tuesday when several suicide car bombers attacked the headquarters of the tenth Iraqi army division in northern Ramadi, killing 30 soldiers and pro-government fighters.

    Previously held by ISIL, Anbar's provincial capital was recaptured by Iraqi forces three weeks ago, though ISIL remains strong in some pockets, particularly in the city's eastern district and in the al-Sijariya neighbourhood.

    Pockets of ISIL remaining in Ramadi

    Iraqi security forces have meanwhile stopped escalating their offensive in the eastern parts of Ramadi, in an effort to minimise civilian casualties. They accuse ISIL of using families there as human shields during ongoing military operations.

    Separately, at noon on Tuesday, a dozen ISIL suicide car bombers tried to breach the Iraqi army barracks on the border of al-Baghdadi city, west of Ramadi, killing 25 Iraqi soldiers and tribal fighters in the process.

    The ISIL fighters were prevented from entering al-Baghdadi after heavy fighting with Iraqi soldiers and air strikes by the US-led coalition.

    Mass grave in Ramadi

    The attacks come a day after Iraqi forces uncovered more than 40 bodies, including those of women and children, in a mass grave in Ramadi. 

    Interior ministry spokesman Brigadier General Saad Maan said the grave in central Ramadi contained the bodies of civilians as well as police, the Associated Press reported.


    OPINION: How Iraq recaptured Ramadi and why it matters


    Video footage from the site shows local security forces and a small forensics team wearing face masks and digging with shovels.

    Similar mass graves have been found in other areas recaptured by Iraqi forces from ISIL in Syria and Iraq.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Trump's Middle East plan: Decoding a century of failed deals

    Trump's Middle East plan: Decoding a century of failed deals

    Al Jazeera read all 181 pages of 'the deal of the century', comparing its language with 100 years of failed agreements.

    We foreigners: What it means to be Bengali in India's Assam

    We foreigners: What it means to be Bengali in India's Assam

    As tensions over India's citizenship law shine a light on Assam, a writer explores the historical tensions in the state.

    Sentenced to death for blasphemy: Surviving Pakistan's death row

    Sentenced to death for blasphemy: Surviving Pakistan's death row

    The story of a man who spent 19 years awaiting execution reveals the power of a false blasphemy claim to destroy a life.