DIYALA, Iraq (AA) – At least seven militants were killed and four soldiers wounded on Tuesday afternoon as Iraqi security forces and militants led by Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) clashed in the eastern Diyala province bordering Iran. “The conflict broke out in Dali Abbas town of the Al-Khalis district between ISIL-led armed militias and Iraqi police backed by armed tribal forces,” Diyala Police Department Head Jameel Al-Shamary told Anadolu Agency. Al-Shamary added that tribe-supported police forces have taken back control of the Dali Abbas area which was previously seized by the militant group ISIL. Iraq has been gripped by protracted lawlessness and with a recent escalation of sectarian violence between the country’s Sunni and Shia people. The violence has escalated since early June after a coalition of ISIL-led armed insurgent groups took control of large swathes of the country’s predominantly Sunni provinces. The insurgents captured the city of Mosul on 10 June and soon afterwards took control of a number of other key cities and towns including Tikrit, Tal Afar, Baiji and Anbar, displacing around one million people. The Iraqi army has been shelling areas with air offensives mainly in Fallujah, al-Karmah and Ramadi in the Anbar province which remain under the helm of armed militia spearheaded by ISIL.
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