Army shelling kills 15 in Iraq's Fallujah

BAGHDAD – At least 15 civilians were killed and 40 injured on Thursday when the army shelled several parts of Iraq's flashpoint city of Fallujah, a medical source said.

The Fallujah General Hospital received the bodies of 15 civilians killed by the artillery barrage on the city, along with 40 who had sustained various injuries, Ahmed al-Shami, the hospital's head resident physician, told Anadolu Agency.

Meanwhile, a tribal source said seven armed tribesmen had been killed in an airstrike in Fallujah, while failing to provide a date for the alleged raid.

Since last December, the Iraqi army has waged a major offensive in the Sunni-majority Anbar province with the stated aim of flushing militants – who Baghdad claims are linked to Al-Qaeda – out of the key cities of Ramadi and Fallujah.

Hundreds have been killed and injured in the two cities since the offensive began, according to government officials. 

Many local Sunni tribes opposed to Iraq's Shiite-dominated government, meanwhile, have continued to voice anger over the operation's mounting civilian death toll.

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