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Iraqi leader says Islamic state threatens region

By The Associated Press

This article was published July 2, 2014 at 11:05 a.m.

BAGHDAD — An extremist group’s declaration of an Islamic state in territory it has seized in Iraq and Syria poses a threat to the entire region, Iraq’s prime minister warned Wednesday, saying that “no one in Iraq or any neighboring country will be safe from these plans.”

The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant announced this week that it has unilaterally established a caliphate in the areas under its control. It declared the group’s leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the head of its new self-styled state governed by Shariah law and demanded that all Muslims pledge allegiance to him.

In his weekly address, Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki said the militant group’s announcement “is a message to all the states in the region that you are inside the red circle now.”

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