Iraqi Turkmens stage a protest to condemn the recent killings of Turkmen community members in Iraq by the militants from an al-Qaida inspired group, in Ankara, Turkey, Wednesday, June 18, 2014.( AP Photo/Burhan Ozbilici)
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Turkey extended a warning to its citizens in Iraq to leave all but the Kurdish-run north on Wednesday, citing a potential battle for Baghdad and saying "negative propaganda" was being spread against it in the Shi'ite-dominated south of the country.The foreign ministry urged Turks to leave eight more provinces south of Baghdad, meaning its advisory now covers all of the country apart from the autonomous, relatively peaceful Kurdish region partly bordering Turkey.It said Iraqi Shi'ite militias were being deployed to Baghdad to defend against attacks by Sunni Islamist insurgents who overran much of northern Iraq last week, and said "false accusations" were being made against Turkey and other foreign countries in Shi'ite areas.Turkey has long had a tense relationship with Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki's Shi'ite-led government, which some Turkish politicians say is pursuing a sectarian agenda.The lightning offensive by ISIL and other Sunni militants threatens to fragment Iraq and leaves Turkey facing a widening Islamist insurgency in two of its southern neighbours, with ISIL also making territorial gains in Syria near the Turkish border.
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