Shelling kills 11 in Iraq's Fallujah: Doctor

BAGHDAD - Shelling killed 11 people on Saturday in the Iraqi city of Fallujah, which has been held by anti-government fighters for more than four months, a doctor said.

A further 20 people were wounded by the bombardment, Doctor Ahmed Shami of Fallujah's main hospital said.

The latest casualties come a day after Iraqi forces launched an operation to retake areas near the city, which lies just a short drive west of Baghdad, in preparation for an eventual assault.

But such an assault is unlikely to occur soon, as security forces have struggled all year to regain territory in Anbar province from militants.

And they would face a major challenge to recapture the city without causing civilian casualties and significant damage to infrastructure.