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Iraq PM concedes political solution needed to ISIS militant offensive

Published on Jun 26, 2014 9:05 PM
 
A member of the Iraqi security forces opens fire during clashes with fighters from Sunni militant group Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) in Ibrahim bin Ali village, west of Baghdad on June 24, 2014. Iraq Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki conceded on Thursday, June 26, 2014, that political measures were needed alongside military action to repel a Sunni insurgent offensive that has overrun swathes of Iraq and threatens to tear it apart. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

BAGHDAD (AFP) - Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki conceded on Thursday that political measures were needed alongside military action to repel a Sunni insurgent offensive that has overrun swathes of Iraq and threatens to tear it apart.

His remarks came during a meeting with visiting British Foreign Secretary William Hague, who reiterated Western calls for Iraqi leaders to unite in the face of a militant onslaught that has killed more than 1,000 people and displaced more than half a million.

On the ground, fighters continued to target key towns and infrastructure but security forces appeared to be performing better than in the initial days of the advance, when they largely wilted.

Powerful Shi'ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr meanwhile vowed to "shake the ground" under the feet of the advancing Sunni militants, risking ratcheting up already-high sectarian tensions.

 
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