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Battle ready

, August 7, 2014

Kurdish "peshmerga" troops prepare to fire a mortar during an intensive security deployment against Islamic State militants on the outskirts of the province of Nineveh on August 6. Islamic State militants extended their gains in northern Iraq on Thursday, seizing three more towns and gaining a foothold near the Kurdish region, witnesses said. The advance came after the Sunni militants inflicted a humiliating defeat on Kurdish forces in a weekend sweep in the north. The Islamic State, which has declared a caliphate in parts of Iraq and Syria it controls, clashed with Kurdish forces on Wednesday in the town of Makhmur near Arbil, the capital of the Kurdish semi-autonomous zone. Reuters/Stringer
 




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