About 500 people have been killed in two days of fighting in the central Iraqi city of Ramadi before ISIL terrorists retreated from the troubled city, Iraqi officials say.
“We don’t have an accurate count of casualties yet but we believe at least 500 people, both civilian and military, have been killed over the past two days,” media outlets quoted Muhannad Haimour, a spokesman for the governor of the Iraqi province of Anbar, as saying.
Iraqi security sources earlier said that the ISIL had executed dozens of people on Friday in the Albu Alwan, al-Thaela’a al-Sharqiya, al-Jamiyeh, and al-Sherka districts of Ramadi.
Women and children together with security personnel were among those executed by the terrorists, the sources said.
The ISIL militants also fired a number of mortar shells at residential areas in Ramadi. Tens of people either died or sustained injuries in the shelling.
The militants had reportedly taken control of the government headquarters in Ramadi on Thursday.
The terrorists, under fierce strikes by the Iraqi army and volunteer forces, were compelled to withdraw from the building, leaving the surroundings booby-trapped or on fire, Ramadi’s Mayor Dalaf al-Kubaisi and tribal leaders said on Saturday.
The northern and western parts of Iraq have been in chaos since ISIL started its campaign of terror in early June 2014. The terrorists are in control of the city of Mosul, the second largest city of Iraq.
Since then, Iraq’s army has been joined by Kurdish forces, as well as Shia and Sunni volunteers in operations to drive the ISIL terrorists out of the areas they have seized