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Iraq forces beat back fresh militant assault on Haditha

Published on Jul 12, 2014 8:27 PM

BAGHDAD (AFP) - Iraqi forces and tribal fighters Saturday beat back a fresh assault by Sunni militants on the town of Haditha, strategic for the large nearby dam and its oil refinery, police said.

Battles also erupted Saturday in the central province of Diyala as security forces fought back against militants who have seized swathes of territory and a string of towns and cities in an offensive launched on June 9.

The violence comes a day before Iraq's deeply-divided politicians are to hold a parliament session aimed at reviving flagging efforts to form a government in the face of the jihadist-led onslaught.

The attack on Haditha, located northwest of Baghdad in Anbar province on the road linking militant-held western areas and the provincial capital, began with mortar fire, police said.

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