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Iraq

Iraqi gunmen take police, mayor hostage

Reuters/Mohammed Ameen

Armed insurgents on Monday stormed a police headquarters in western Iraq and took hostage senior officials and police officers, security officials said.

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At least two explosions preceded the attack on the Al-Baghdadi police headquarters, which is in the same compound as the mayor’s office, according to the officials.

The gunmen have taken hostage the police chief and mayor of Al-Baghdadi, police in the provincial capital Ramadi said, although other officials said that several police were being held.

Al-Baghdadi id about 150 kilometres north-west of Baghdad in predominantly Sunni Anbar province.

Anbar was a key Sunni insurgent base in the years after the US-led invasion of 2003, but since 2006 local tribes have sided with the American military and day-to-day violence has dropped dramatically.

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