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ISIL gains ground in western Iraq, raising fears for Baghdad

ISIL gains ground in western Iraq, raising fears for Baghdad
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ISIL militants are gaining ground in western Iraq, police sources and local officials report.

During a dawn raid on Wednesday (April 15), they are said to have overrun the village of Albu Ghanim, in Anbar Province.

Hundreds of families are reported to have fled the village, which lies five kilometres northeast of the provincial capital Ramadi. The rebel advance has raised fears for the Iraqi capital Baghdad, around a hundred kilometres to the east of the town.

Government officials have launched an offensive to recapture the province, which is a Sunni heartland.

A day earlier, a wave of attacks in and around Baghdad killed at least 28 people.

The attacks came as Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al Abadi visited Washington to discuss the situation. Following the talks, US President Barack Obama pledged almost 190 million euros worth of extra humanitarian aid for Iraq.