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Iraq forces preparing for counter-offensive, says officer

Published on Jun 14, 2014 3:18 PM

BAGHDAD (AFP) - Iraqi security forces readied a counter-offensive against militants north of Baghdad on Saturday, an army colonel said, after the prime minister announced the cabinet granted him "unlimited powers."

The colonel from the military command responsible for Samarra, a city 110 kilometres north of the capital, said reinforcements from the federal police and army arrived on Friday.

The officer said the reinforcements were for a drive against areas north of the city, including Dur and Tikrit, that militants seized in a major offensive this week.

Security forces were awaiting orders to begin, the colonel said.

A masked Pershmerga fighter from Iraq's autonomous Kurdish region guards a temporary camp set up to shelter Iraqis fleeing violence in the northern Nineveh province, in Aski kalak, 40km west of the region's capital Arbil, on June 13, 2014. -- PHOTO: AFP
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