8 Iraqis killed in army shelling of Fallujah

BAGHDAD – At least eight civilians were killed and 16 others injured in Iraqi army shelling of Fallujah in the western Anbar province, a medical official said.

Wessam al-Essawi, spokesman for Fallujah General Hospital, told Anadolu Agency they had received eight bodies of civilians killed in the army shelling of residential neighborhoods along with 16 wounded, including women and children.

Sheikh Mohamed al-Begari, a local chieftain, told AA that the army was still shelling residential areas in several parts of the city, including Al-Resala neighborhood in the center, Al-Shohadaa and Jubail in the south, and Al-Sagr and Saqlawiya in the north.

No army official was available for an immediate comment on the allegations.

Since last December, the Iraqi army has been mounting 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, according to government officials.

Many local Sunni tribes have continued to voice anger over the operation's mounting civilian death toll.

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