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Security forces retake city, two border crossings in Iraq

English.news.cn   2014-06-23 22:25:38

BAGHDAD, June 23 (Xinhua) -- Iraqi security forces retook control of a city in eastern Iraq and two crossing points in western the country on Monday, after fighting Sunni militants, the government and official television channel said.

In Iraq's eastern province of Diyala, the Iraqi army and police backed by allied militants and air support retook full control of the city of Udheim, some 60 km north of the provincial capital Baquba, which itself located about 65 km northeast of Baghdad, said a statement issued by the Ministry of Defense emailed to Xinhua.

The troops killed many of "Daash terrorist group" (Arabic first letters of the Islamic State in Iraq and Levant ISIL) and are chasing those who fled the battlefield, the brief statement said.

Udheim and some surrounding villages have been under control of the Sunni militants after fierce clashes with the security forces during the past few days.

Diyala province, which stretches from eastern edges of Baghdad to the borders with Iran, has long been the stronghold of al-Qaida militant groups as well as a hotbed of insurgency and sectarian violence since the U.S.-led invasion in 2003.

Meanwhile, the state-run Iraqiyah television channel reported that the border guards and other security forces have seized the border crossing points of Triebil with Jordan and al-Walid crossing point with Syria after they repelled attacks by ISIL militant groups.

On Friday, the militants took control of the border crossing point with Syria near the city and also seized several posts from border guards after clashing with security forces.

Iraqi Interior Ministry spokesman Brigadier General Saad Maan said late on Sunday that the Iraqi security forces still controlled another border crossing points of al-Walid with Syria and Triebil with Jordan. But a provincial security source reported that the troops deserted the al-Walid crossing point and is now under the control of the militants.

The al-Walid crossing point is the last of Iraq's border crossings with Syria that is under central government control, the other border point, Rabia, is now policed by Kurdish security forces after Iraqi troops abandoned it on June 15, while al-Qaim crossing point with Syria is seized earlier by the rebels.

Iraq has seen a deteriorating security situation since June 10 when bloody clashes broke out between security forces and hundreds of Sunni militants who took control of Mosul and later seized swathes of territories after Iraqi security forces withdrew from their posts in Nineveh and other predominantly Sunni provinces.

Editor: yan
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