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IPFS News Link • Iraq

Al-Qaeda Seizes Parts of Two Major Iraqi Cities

•, Jason Ditz
 Already facing a growing revolt among protesters in Sunni-dominated Western Iraq, the Maliki government has an even bigger problem tonight, as al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI) has used that unrest as cover for raids into two major cities in Anbar Province and has captured parts of each.

The AQI incursion began in Ramadi, where Prime Minister Maliki ordered a violent crackdown on protesters Monday, and quickly spread, along with the protests, into neighboring Fallujah.

Iraqi military sources now say that AQI controls more than half of Fallujah and a portion of Ramadi, and their fighters have set up checkpoints in those areas and declared them part of the “Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant,” which also includes their territorial possessions in northwest Syria.