Iraqi government forces battling al-Qaeda-linked militants intensified airstrikes and artillery fire on the rebel-held city of Fallujah on Sunday, and at least seven people were killed there, according to hospital officials and tribal leaders. Religious and tribal leaders in the city, 30 miles west of Baghdad, said they feared an imminent assault by the army to expel militants and end a three-week standoff that has driven thousands of people from their homes. The al-Qaeda-linked Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, which is also fighting in neighboring Syria, took control of Fallujah and parts of nearby Ramadi, the provincial capital, on Jan. 1 with the help of sympathetic armed tribesmen. epa04044646 Icebreaker ‘Goermitz’ of the Stralsund Waterways and Shipping Office breaks floes in the access route to the Peenestrom harbour in Wolgast, Germany, 27 January 2014. Weather forcasts predict even more snow in the eastern regions of […]