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Iraqi officials say militants seize city of Tikrit

By The Associated Press

This article was originally published June 11, 2014 at 10:03 a.m. Updated June 11, 2014 at 11:00 a.m.


Iraqi federal policemen stand guard at a checkpoint in Baghdad, Iraq, on Wednesday, June. 11, 2014. The Iraqi government has tightened its security measures after a stunning assault that exposed Iraq's eroding central authority, al-Qaida-inspired militants overran much of Mosul on Tuesday, seizing government buildings, pushing out security forces and capturing military vehicles as thousands of residents fled the Iraqi second-largest city.

BAGHDAD — Al-Qaida-inspired militants seized effective control Wednesday of Saddam Hussein's hometown of Tikrit, expanding their offensive closer to the Iraqi capital as soldiers and security forces abandoned their posts following clashes with the insurgents.

Fighters from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant took control a day earlier of much of Mosul, Iraq's second-largest city, in a major blow to the authority of the country's Shiite government. An estimated half a million residents fled the economically important city.

Residents reached by telephone in Sunni-dominated Tikrit said the Sunni militant group had taken over several police stations. They spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of their safety.

Two Iraqi security officials confirmed Tikrit was under the control of the Islamic State of Iraq, and said the provincial governor was missing. The officials insisted their names not be used because they weren't authorized to release the information. Tikrit, the capital of Salahuddin province, is 80 miles north of Baghdad.

Read tomorrow's Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for full details.


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SUPERDUTY says... June 11, 2014 at 3:37 p.m.

If these cowards wanted liberty, they would fight for it. We paid for these cowards with the many dead and wounded of our soldiers. We should build a mile high fence around these countries and raise the ambient temperature to 400,00 degrees.

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