Iraq forces kill 21 militants in Ramadi

ANBAR, Iraq – Iraqi security forces have killed 21 Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant militants and detained 15 others in Ramadi, the capital of the restive Anbar province, Anbar's police chief has said.

Ismail al-Mahlawi said the ISIL militants were killed in the al-Malaab area in southern Ramadi, and the downtown Andalus neighborhood during a joint operation between the army and the policy.

He said the operations would continue against the ISIL group until Ramadi was "purged of all terrorists".

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

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.

Since the offensive began last December, hundreds of civilians have been killed and injured in Fallujah and Ramadi, according to government officials.

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