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Militants kill 21 people in two Iraq towns: officials

Published on Jun 23, 2014 1:52 AM

RAMADI, Iraq (AFP) - Militants killed 21 leaders in the western Iraq towns of Rawa and Ana during two days of violence, officers and doctors said Sunday, after security forces made a "tactical" withdrawal.

Some of those killed were shot dead on Saturday, when the militants moved into the towns, while others were slain the following day. The killings came after Iraqi security forces members departed the towns, clearing the way for the militant takeover.

"The military units' withdrawal (from Rawa and Ana and Al-Qaim) was for the purpose of redeployment," Lieutenant General Qassem Atta said, referring to it as a "tactical" move.

Witnesses said insurgents moved into Rawa and Ana, in Anbar province, on Saturday evening, after security officers and witnesses also reported militants entering Al-Qaim, a town on the Syrian border, earlier in the day.

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