Iraqi security forces take position with their weapons in defense against clashes with al Qaeda-linked Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) in the city of Ramadi, 100 km (62 miles) west of Baghdad, February 14, 2014. REUTERS/Stringer
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Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki paid a visit on Saturday to the battleground city of Ramadi, where security forces and allied tribesmen have for weeks fought to retake militant-held areas.Authorities also face a small-scale version of the Anbar crisis in northern Iraq, where militants took control of part of the town of Sulaiman Bek and nearby areas in Salaheddin province on Thursday.Sulaiman Bek has been hit by numerous attacks over the past year, and was briefly seized by militants in late April.Twenty-two Iraqi soldiers and police have been killed in targeted attacks and clashes over the past two days, officials and doctors said.In the Jurf al-Sakhr area south of Baghdad, five soldiers died in clashes with militants.
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