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‘Iraqi forces restoring control of besieged area in west’

By Reuters - Sep 25,2014 - Last updated at Sep 25,2014

BAGHDAD — Iraqi forces are "restoring control" to one area in Anbar province, while fighting is ongoing in another area in the western region where Islamic State insurgents had surrounded two army camps over the past week, Anbar's police chief said on Thursday.

"Currently, the Iraqi forces regiments are restoring control to the Sijir area," Anbar police chief Ahmed Saddag told Reuters.

"In Albu Etha, there is no control until now. The enemy Daesh is in control of Albu Etha from the northern side," he said, using the Arabic acronym for the group that calls itself Islamic State.

On Wednesday, an Iraqi soldier told Reuters that around 200 soldiers were trapped in the Albu Etha camp with food, water and ammunition running short.

Similarly, Islamic State insurgents on Sunday overran an army base in Saqlawiya, just 50km west of Baghdad, killing or capturing 400 to 600 soldiers, a senior Iraqi security official said. Sijir is near Saqlawiya.

The government said it had detained two commanders for negligence over the Saqlawiya incident, which exposed the weakness of the army.

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