At least 27 Iraqi soldiers have been killed in suicide car bomb attacks committed by Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) fighters near Ramadi, military sources said.
Wednesday’s attacks on Iraqi army positions in Al-Awasil village, 35km west of Ramadi, also wounded 16 military personnel, army sources told Al Jazeera.
It was not immediately clear how many car bombers struck the Iraqi forces.
The attacks came a day after Iraqi security forces entered the last remaining ISIL stronghold east of Ramadi.
Security forces are now in the centre of Hussaibah village and moving to other parts of the strategic settlement, which links a major army base to other villages recently captured from the armed group, security sources told Al Jazeera on Tuesday.
The Iraqi flag was raised in the centre of the village on Tuesday, the sources added.
Al Jazeera’s Imran Khan, reporting from Baghdad, said that ISIL fighters were still in control of the nearby countryside.
“From there they are able to mount attacks on the army [in and around Ramadi] and they still control Fallujah. That town has been under siege for months now with no supplies going in,” he said.
Iraq’s government announced in late December that its troops had recaptured Ramadi, but daily fighting with ISIL has continued for more than a month on the city’s outskirts.
ISIL captured the city in May 2015 in an assault spearheaded by a wave of car and truck bombs.
The armed group still holds Fallujah, east of Ramadi, and Mosul, the country’s second city, which fell to ISIL in 2014.