UN: More than 140,000 Iraqis flee Anbar province as clashes with al-Qaida militants intensify - InfoNews

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UN: More than 140,000 Iraqis flee Anbar province as clashes with al-Qaida militants intensify

In this Thursday, Jan. 23, 2014 photo, mourners pray over the coffin of Haitham Abdo Rahman, 38, who was killed in a bombing, before his burial at the cemetery in Fallujah, Iraq. Islamic militants controlling a mainly Sunni area west of Baghdad are so well-armed that they could occupy the capital, members of Iraq's al-Qaida branch - known as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant - have taken over parts of Ramadi, the capital of the largely Sunni western province of Anbar. (AP Photo)
January 24, 2014 - 5:46 AM

BAGHDAD - A United Nations official says more than 140,000 Iraqis have fled parts of Anbar province over clashes between security forces and al-Qaida militants.

The spokesman for the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees, Peter Kessler, described it as "the largest" displacement witnessed in the country since the sectarian violence of 2006-2008.

He added that more than 65,000 people fled the conflict in the cities of Ramadi and Fallujah just in the past week alone.

Since late December, members of Iraq's al-Qaida branch — known as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant — have taken over parts of Ramadi, the capital of the largely Sunni province of Anbar. They also control the centre of the nearby city of Fallujah.

News from © The Associated Press, 2014
The Associated Press

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