People inspect the aftermath of a car bomb attack in Baghdad, Iraq, Tuesday, Sept. 23, 2014. The bomb exploded in a commercial area of eastern Baghdad on Monday night, officials said. (AP Photo/Karim Kadim)
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Iraqi soldiers described on Monday how ISIS fighters inflicted heavy losses in a chaotic raid on a military base just an hour's drive from Baghdad, highlighting the jihadists' ability to attack high-profile targets despite U.S. air strikes.However, casualties among the Iraqi government forces appear to have been very heavy, with many soldiers either dead, forced to flee or missing following the assault near the city of Falluja, which ISIS has controlled since January.Like at Camp Speicher, it remains unclear how many men were present at the base in Saqlawiya and how many are now dead and missing. However one officer who survived the raid said that of an estimated 1,000 soldiers in Saqlawiya, only about 200 had managed to flee. The officer said that ISIS insurgents had gained control of Sijir, near Falluja, a week ago, allowing them to surround the Saqlawiya base.About 200 soldiers managed to escape the base on Sunday after battling with the militants in the area which soldiers call the "kilometre of death".An army convoy sent in to break the siege on Sunday was ambushed by ISIS fighters.
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