Gunmen fighters take position with their weapons during clashes with Iraqi security forces in Ramadi, 100 km (62 miles) west of Baghdad, January 21, 2014. REUTERS/Ali al-Mashhadani
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Iraq's prime minister called Wednesday for residents of restive Anbar province to "take a stand" against anti-government fighters, as air strikes were said to have killed 50 militants.Parts of Ramadi and all of Fallujah, both west of Baghdad, have been in the hands of militants for weeks, the first time insurgents have exercised such open control in Iraqi cities since the peak of the violence that followed the 2003 US-led invasion.Air strikes launched across Anbar killed 50 militants, including foreign fighters of Arab nationality, the defence ministry said Wednesday. The army said in a statement that 13 militants were killed in firefights there.The violence then spread to Fallujah, as militants moved in and seized the city and parts of Ramadi after security forces withdrew.
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