At least 30 Shiites killed in latest round of fighting near Baghdad
Newly-recruited Shiite volunteer militiamen receive training from Iraqi forces in the city of Basra (Haidar Mohammed Ali/AFP)
Agence France Presse reported that at least 30 Shiite militiamen were killed in clashes northeast of Baghdad Friday.
According to AFP's police and doctor sources, fighting between militants and Iraq's security forces, who are supported by the Shiite militiamen, erupted in the town of Muqdadiyah early Friday morning. Militants allegedly entered and attacked the strategic town, leaving at least 30 dead, but later "deployed" to other areas towards the evening Friday. Baghdad also reported that security forces maintained control of the town as of Friday evening. Muqdadiyah is considered a key town en route to the Diyala provincial capital of Baquba.
Iraq's security forces have been battling the rising Sunni militant insurgency that has swept the country over the past few weeks. The growing presence of the jihadist-linked Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS) has left millions fleeing for their lives nationwide.
Many Shiite militiamen have joined with security forces over the past week to support Baghdad in its counter-offensive against ISIS. The jihadist group took over control of the city of Mosul earlier last week, and even managed to take control of the country's largest oil refinery in days.