Saturday, June 7, 2014

07 June 2014

At 06:30 this morning, gunmen attacked and seized the Anbar University building in southwestern Ramadi after fierce clashes that continued for several hours. Three university guards were killed at the main entrance to the university campus. The gunmen also blew up the bridge connecting the university with Ramadi city, causing severe structural damage. There were more than 1,000 students in the buildings during the six-hour battle; fortunately, this took place on a Saturday, when classes are limited at all of the university's colleges. College administration and teaching staff were able to open a gate in the campus' security fence, allowing all the students to reach the 5 km district. Up to this minute security forces are saying that some of the buildings are in the hands of the gunmen, but army and police forces have not resorted to shelling them. There are however intermittent clashes taking place, especially at the Political Science College building, as well as at the university's administration building. 
There was also an armed confrontation and the detonation of two car bombs driven by suicide bombers in the 'Ceramic' district that is adjacent to the Anbar University district. Security forces say that they have not recorded any deaths among the university students or the teaching staff. Security precautions are in place around the university's perimeter.

At dawn today, a security source in Haditha township in western Anbar announced that ISIL gunmen using more than 35 all-terrain vehicles and carrying medium and heavy weapons attempted an assault on Haditha from both its western and northeastern approaches, but they were met head-on by security forces that prevented them from entering the town.

In Fallujah, fierce clashes erupted today in the outlying districts of the city. A medical source at the Fallujah General Hospital has confirmed that 6 people, including 4 children were wounded by the shelling of the city.
The UN has announced that there are more than 5,000 families inside Fallujah who are unable to leave the city because of their lack of financial and other material resources.

The Anbar Governorate Council held a number of meetings and emergency conferences today to discuss the latest initiative proposed by Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki.

In Samarra, 130 km from Anbar in Salahuddin governorate, life was almost normal today and the curfew has been lifted in most of the city. Observers say that activity within the city is normal. The final casualty count after the two days of fighting shows that 43 people were either killed or wounded in the fighting. 
An important issue is that the displaced Anbaris who sought refuge in Samarra over more than 4 months are now facing being displaced yet again, either to other Salahuddin townships or to western townships of Anbar

Samarra Military Command forces announced today that they have killed at least 22 suspected ISIL gunmen in various areas within Samarra, thus trying to avoid the recurrence of the gunmen's infiltration into the township. 
The local Samarra Council has stressed that it will do whatever it can to prevent such an eventuality, and promising the residents that it would reinforce its defensive capabilities to achieve that end. Samarra residents are dismayed by the burning down of most of the town's business and trading establishments, and by the fact that many businesses were looted. Local residents are saying that 7 people were killed by the SWAT forces that were sent in to the township, but security forces have, of course, denied that such an incident had taken place. Salahuddin Council is expected to launch an investigation into the incident, particularly as 7 bodies have indeed been found, 2 of whom are Anbari refugees, apparently shot to death.

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