Iraqi soldiers take positions during an intensive security deployment on the outskirts of Anbar province, February 2, 2014. REUTERS/Stringer
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Iraqi troops and allied tribesmen killed 57 Islamist militants in Anbar province on Monday, the Defence Ministry said, in advance of a possible assault on the Sunni rebel-held city of Falluja.There was no independent verification of the toll among the militants, said to be members of the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS), a jihadi group also fighting in Syria. Two of the bombs blew up in the town of Mahmudiya, about 30 km (20 miles) south of Baghdad, killing eight people.Al Qaeda said on Monday it had no links with ISIS, a group whose precursors fought U.S. troops in Iraq and which is now playing a powerful but divisive role in Syria's civil war, as well as driving the insurgency in Iraq.
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