Nine suspected al-Qaeda gunmen were killed and 10 others were wounded when violent clashes broke out Monday (January 21st) in al-Jazeera, Salaheddine province.
"A force from the Iraqi army's 4th Division, supported by Sahwa tribal forces, attacked an al-Qaeda hideout in al-Jazeera, west of Samarra, prompting clashes that continued" overnight, Col. Hassan Lazim, Iraqi army spokesman in Samarra, told Al-Shorfa.
"The clashes broke out after al-Qaeda members refused to surrender, and began attacking the army and Sahwa forces," he said.
Deputy army commander Maj. Gen. Shaker Haleel, Samarra Sahwa leader Sheikh Falah al-Bazzi, and six soldiers and Sahwa members also were wounded in the clashes, he said.
The army has widened the scope of the operation to hunt down al-Qaeda elements who fled the area during the clashes, Lazim said.