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UN: More Than 140,000 Iraqis Flee Anbar Violence

Created: 01/24/2014 9:54 AM WDIO.com

BAGHDAD (AP) - 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 center of the nearby city of Fallujah.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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