The Islamic State (IS) group on Wednesday captured four areas in Ramadi, capital of Anbar province in western Iraq, while heavy clashes are underway, a provincial security source said.
The IS militants carried out attacks at dawn on the positions of the security forces and allied Shiite and Sunni militias and managed to seize the areas of Soufiyah, Albu Ghanim, Albu Mahal and Albu Souda in eastern Ramadi, some 110 km west of Baghdad, the source told Xinhua on condition of anonymity.
He said the extremist militants in early hours of the day blew up three suicide truck bombs at the police station in Soufiyah district and the blasts were followed by advance of dozens of IS militants who after four hours seized the whole district and spread to nearby areas.
The security forces and Hashid Shaabi, or Popular Mobilization, militiamen withdrew from their positions in Ramadi to the nearby huge airbase of Habbaniyah after the IS attacks during the day, the source said.
The battles in Anbar came after the IS militants made another advance on Friday morning when they carried out attacks on Albu Farraj area from several directions and after fierce clashes with the security forces and allied Sunni tribesmen, the extremist group captured large parts of the area located on the northern side of Euphrates River which separate the area from the city of Ramadi.
The IS group has seized parts of Iraq's largest province Anbar and tried to advance toward Baghdad, but several counter attacks by security forces and Shiite militias have pushed them back.
The security situation in Iraq has been drastically deteriorated since June last year, when bloody clashes broke out between Iraqi security forces and the IS.