Thousands flee as ISIL advances on Iraq's Ramadi

April 16, 2015 3:22 PM

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BAGHDAD (AP) — More than 2,000 families have fled from the Iraqi city of Ramadi, an official said Thursday, as the Islamic State group advanced on the provincial capital of the western Anbar province, clashing with Iraqi troops.

The extremist group, which has controlled the nearby city of Fallujah for more than a year, captured three villages on Ramadi's eastern outskirts on Wednesday. The advance is widely seen as a counteroffensive after the IS group lost the city of Tikrit, Saddam Hussein's hometown, earlier this month.

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