Mounting Concerns for Fallujah Residents; 259 Killed in Iraq
Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani asked
the Iraqi government and the Shi’ite militias to be cautious while recapturing
Fallujah. He wants security forces to be careful around the many civilians
trapped in the city. Sistani is the leading Shi’ite cleric in Iraq. United
Nations spokesman Stephane Dujarric expressed the
organization’s similar concerns that the civilians there are in danger. Militia
by giving the militiamen a new set of instructions that include orders against
looting and torture.
Sair al-Bayati, a tribal leader in Suleiman Bag, said
that Shi’ite militias have kidnapped hundreds of Sunnis from the town and razed
their homes. The town was recaptured from Islamic State militants in 2014, but
the ongoing militia occupation
has prevented residents from returning. The Kurds also have a claim on the
At least 259 people were killed and 62 were wounded:
The hospital in Fallujah reports
that 26 civilians and 17 militants have died since the launch of operations;
that is at least 19 more civilian deaths than previously reported. The hospital
is only reporting casualties that have arrived at the facility. More civilian
deaths have probably occurred.
About 35 security personnel
have been killed in Fallujah since the launch as well. Security forces say
they killed 163
militants during operations on Wednesday alone. Militants cut
the tongues of five members who attempted to flee.
A bomb in Baghdad killed
two people and wounded six more in the Karaghul neighborhood. A
blast in Tobji killed
one person and wounded seven more. One
person was killed and seven were wounded in a blast in Doura.
militants were killed during the liberation of Sijar.
Security forces cleared Albu Hamad, near the Fallujah
Dam, and killed
13 militants in the process.
militants were killed in a strike near Gwer
Peshmerga forces in Bashiqa killed two suicide
bombers dressed as refugees.