RAMADI, Iraq, July 13 (Xinhua) -- Nine security members were killed and 12 others wounded on Thursday when suicide bombers, affiliated to Islamic State (IS) group, attacked the headquarters of a paramilitary tribal fighters in the province of Anbar in western Iraq, a provincial security source said.
Early in the morning, four IS militants wearing explosive belts exploded themselves after a fierce clash at a checkpoint at the entrance of the headquarters, manned by tribal fighters and Iraqi soldiers, in the town of Garma near the city of Fallujah, some 50 km west of the Iraqi capital Baghdad, the source told Xinhua on condition of anonymity.
The attack killed nine security members and wounded 12 others, along with the deaths of the attackers, who failed to enter the main buildings of the headquarters, the source said.
In the first half of 2016, the Iraqi security forces and the paramilitary Hashd Shaabi units, backed by anti-IS international coalition, had reclaimed large parts of the Sunni heartland of Anbar province, including the provincial capital of Ramadi and Fallujah.
However, the areas near the border with Syria and the desert areas near the freed towns and villages are not yet cleared from IS militants who frequently carry out attacks on the freed areas.
The attack came after Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi on July 10 formally declared Mosul liberated from IS after nearly nine months of fierce fighting to dislodge the extremist militants from their last major stronghold in Iraq.