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Heavy clashes as Iraq fighting sparks rights worries

Published on Jan 10, 2014 3:09 AM

FALLUJAH (AFP) - Iraqi forces backed by tanks battled militants Thursday in Anbar, where fighting has displaced thousands and sparked warnings of rights abuses and fears the crisis could take weeks to resolve.

They also faced violence in the capital, where a suicide bomber targeted an army recruiting centre, killing 23 people and wounding 30.

The United Nations and non-government organisations have warned that civilians lack access to key supplies as the government blockades Fallujah and parts of the nearby Anbar provincial capital Ramadi, west of Baghdad, which were seized by militants last week.

Washington has piled pressure on Iraq to focus on political reconciliation as well as military operations to resolve the standoff.

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