By Arif Yusuf
FALLUJAH, Iraq (AA) – At least 34 soldiers and allied militiamen have been killed in attacks by Daesh militants in northern and western Iraq.
Daesh militants launched two attacks on Iraqi forces and members of the Shia Hashd al-Shaabi militia around Fallujah on Sunday, Iraqi policeman Lt. Ahmed al-Duleimi told Anadolu Agency on Monday.
“At least 27 soldiers and allied militiamen were killed and 17 others injured in the two attacks,” he said.
According to al-Duleimi, 33 Daesh militants were also killed in ensuing clashes with Iraqi forces.
Seven soldiers and Shia militiamen were also killed in another Daesh attack in the northern city of Biiji, an Iraqi police officer told Anadolu Agency, requesting anonymity due to restrictions to speaking to the media.
Iraqi authorities have yet to comment on the attacks.
The violence came shortly after Iraqi authorities said that its forces have made major gains in the battle against the Daesh group in Fallujah.
Last month, the Iraqi army, backed by U.S.-led coalition warplanes, staged a military offensive to retake Fallujah, which was captured by Daesh in early 2014.
Meanwhile, Iraqi authorities said that more than 3,700 families have fled Fallujah to safe places under government control.
In a Monday statement, the Ministry of Migration and Displacement said that some 3,708 people have fled Fallujah since the military offensive to retake the city from Daesh.
Located along the Euphrates River some 50 kilometers (about 30 miles) west of capital Baghdad, Fallujah -- which fell to Daesh in early 2014 -- is believed to be home to some 90,000 residents.
Iraq has suffered from a devastating security vacuum since mid-2014, when Daesh suddenly seized Mosul and overran large swathes of territory in the northern and western parts of the country.
According to the UN, more than 3.4 million people are displaced all over Iraq, more than half of them children, and more than 10 million people in the country need lifesaving humanitarian assistance.
*Anadolu Agency correspondent Ahmet Sait Akcay contributed to this report from Ankara