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Militants gain ground in battle for strategic town in northern Iraq

Published on Jun 16, 2014 4:39 PM
 

BAGHDAD (AFP) - Militants gained ground on Monday in a battle for a strategic Shi'ite enclave in northern Iraq that provides a corridor to Syria, officials and residents said.

Security forces insisted they had repelled an assault on Tal Afar, a Shi'ite Turkman-majority town in Nineveh province, but multiple officials and a resident said militants had entered it, with one saying they were in control.

"Armed groups managed to take control of Tal Afar," a Nineveh provincial government official told AFP, speaking on condition of anonymity.

"They clashed with security forces and (tribal fighters), who had to withdraw from the town."

Shi'ite Muslim Turkmen families leave the village of Taza Khormato, south of the oil hub city of Kirkuk in northern Iraq, fearing any escalation in fighting reaching their village, on June 16, 2014. Militants gained ground on Monday in a battle for a strategic Shi'ite enclave in northern Iraq that provides a corridor to Syria, officials and residents said. -- PHOTO: AFP 
 
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