Baghdad: A total of 67 people, including 15 border guards, were killed in clashes with Islamic State (IS) militants across Iraq Monday, as the Iraqi forces recaptured seven villages in the country’s east, security sources said.

In the western province of Anbar, 15 border guards were killed and five others injured when dozens of IS militants attacked their headquarters in al-Waleed crossing near the Syrian border, a provincial security source told Xinhua on condition of anonymity.

Twenty IS militants were also killed and many others wounded in the clashes. Six vehicles of the militant group carrying heavy machine guns were destroyed, the source said.

In Iraq’s eastern province of Diyala, the security forces backed by Shiite militias and aircraft freed seven villages after fierce clashes with IS militants in Sarha area near the provincial border with Salahudin province.

Seven militants were killed and Iraqi forces seized weapons and explosives.

In Diyala, the security forces and Shiite militiamen also carried out an offensive against the positions of militants in the rural area in north of the town of Maqdadiyah, some 100 km northeast of the Iraqi capital of Baghdad.

Twelve militants were killed, including three of the group leaders, Lt. Gen. Jamil al-Shimary, the provincial police chief, told Xinhua.

In Salahudin province, about 20 vehicles carrying dozens of militants attacked the Shiite militias in the city of Samarra, some 120 km north of Baghdad, sparking heavy clashes which resulted in the killing of 12 Shiite militiamen while four vehicles of the IS militants were destroyed, a provincial security source said.

Security sources, however, could not give further details about the casualty on the militants’ side.

Meanwhile, an IS militant was shot dead by a sniper when the militant tried to cross the Tigris river to enter the town of Duluiyah, some 90 km north of Baghdad, the source said.