Iraqi forces kill 57 militants in Anbar clashes
Tribesmen and Iraqi police forces hold a position in a street of the city of Ramadi, west of the capital Baghdad, on January 30, 2014 during a military operation against anti-government fighters. (AFP)
Iraqi troops and allied tribesmen killed 57 Islamist militants in Anbar province on Monday, the Defense Ministry said.
There was no independent verification of the toll among the militants who belong to the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), a jihadist group also fighting in Syria.
The Defense Ministry statement said most of the 57 militants had been killed in the outskirts of Ramadi, giving few details, Reuters reported.
Since December 2013, Iraqi forces, along with the police and tribal forces, have been battling to regain control over areas in Anbar, which shares a 300 kilometer border with Syria.
More than 1,000 people were killed in Iraq in January, official data showed on Friday, as security forces grapple with a surge in bloodshed and a standoff with militants.
A total of 1,013 people - 795 civilians, 122 soldiers and 96 policemen - died as a result of violence, according to data compiled by the ministries of health, interior and defence.
The figures also showed that 2,024 people were wounded: 1,633 civilians, 238 soldiers and 153 policemen. Security forces killed 189 militants and arrested 458 more.
January's overall death toll is the highest released by the ministries since April 2008, when 1,073 people were killed.