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Fighting Continues In Western Iraq, As U.S. Plans Helicopter Sale

BAGHDAD -- More fighting has been reported in the western Iraqi province of Anbar, where Islamist gunmen continue to hold parts of two cities.

Shelling and intermittent heavy clashes took place on January 28 in the provincial capital, Ramadi.

Al-Qaeda-linked fighters are still in control of Fallujah, and gunmen have been active in at least three villages around the city.

Elsewhere, at least five Iraqi soldiers were reported killed when gunmen attacked a security checkpoint north of Baghdad.

In another development, the United States has announced plans to sell 24 Apache attack helicopters to Iraq in a $4.8 billion deal.

Washington has pledged to help Iraq in the battle against the militants, who seized territory in Anbar around the beginning of the year.

With reporting by AP and AFP