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IS burns over 40 to death in Iraq's Anbar
The Islamic State (IS) militants burned up to 43 people alive, in Iraq's western province of Anbar, a provincial security source said Saturday.
Earlier, IS fighters captured those 43 Iraqis from the albu-Obeid Sunni tribe in the battlefield town of al-Baghdadi, some 200 km northwest of the Iraqi capital Baghdad, said the source.
The abducted were believed to be local police and government-backed Sahwa paramilitary group members, and were later transferred to the nearby militants-seized town of Heet, the source added, adding that the extremist militants put the victims in iron cages and set fire to them.
The executions came after the killing of some 70 others during the past ten days when the IS militants carried out major attacks on al-Baghdadi and the nearby air base of Ain al-Asad which is housing hundreds of U.S. Marines.
However, their attacks on the air base were repelled by security forces and U.S. aircraft, while fighting continued in the town after Iraqi troops regained control of large parts of it.
Meanwhile, the militants laid a siege to a neighborhood in al-Baghdadi town housing dozens of families of security members and Sahwa fighters, said the source, who confirmed that the residents are facing acute shortage in food and drinking water, as well as in weapons and ammunition.
Ain al-Asad military base is used by Iraqi military forces, as well as roughly 300 U.S. Marines as military trainers and advisers.
The IS group has seized around 80 percent of Iraq's largest province of Anbar and tried to advance toward Baghdad, but several counter attacks by security forces and Shiite militias pushed them back from western areas of the capital.
Since December of last year, there have been insurgent attacks in the Sunni Arab heartland west of Baghdad which stretches through the Anbar province.
Anbar province was the scene of fierce clashes which flared up once Iraqi police disbanded an anti-government protest outside Ramadi city.
The security situation in Iraq started drastically deteriorating since June 10 last year, when bloody clashes broke out between Iraqi security forces and IS, an al-Qaida offshoot.
IS took control of the country's northern province of Nineveh, later seizing swathes of territories after Iraqi security forces abandoned their posts in other predominantly Sunni provinces.
[Source: Xinhua, Ramadi, 21Feb15]
War in Iraq
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