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Iraqi forces attack al-Qaeda militants in Ramadi ahead of the fight for Fallujah

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Iraqi forces attack al-Qaeda militants in Ramadi ahead of the fight for Fallujah

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Iraqi military air strikes on the city of Ramadi have killed 25 al Qaeda-linked fighters. That is according to the government which is battling militants to regain control of Anbar province.

Footage released by the Iraqi Defence Ministry is said to show attacks on members of the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant ( ISIL)

Government forces lost control of Ramadi and Fallujah at the weekend after the cities were infiltrated by the al Qaeda linked group.

Thousands of civilians have been fleeing the area where the recent fighting has led to some of the heaviest clashes in Iraq for years.

Although Fallujah has come under army bombardment, the Iraqi military has delayed an all out assault while civilians leave.

With its tanks deployed the government is hoping tribal leaders will push the militants out.

The recent upsurge in violence stems from long-standing grievances between local Sunni tribes and the Shia-led central government which have been exploited by al Qaeda.