Iraqi security forces inspect the site of a car bomb attack in Kirkuk, June 4, 2014. REUTERS/Ako Rasheed
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Sunni insurgents overran parts of the city of Samarra in northern Iraq early on Thursday, bringing them within striking distance of a Shi'ite shrine that was previously the trigger for sectarian war.The Sunni militants blew up a police station around 25 km south of Samarra overnight, security sources said, killing several policemen before advancing on the city in pick-up trucks, raiding checkpoints on the way.After entering the city from both east and west, they seized control of the municipality building and university, raising the black flag of the Sunni militant 'Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant' (ISIL) over both buildings, police said.A security officer in the Salahuddin operations command described the situation in the city as dire and said the rebels, armed with RPGs and snipers, were targeting command centres near the Askari shrine, which is protected by three security belts.
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