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Militants seize small towns in Iraq

Militants with the Islamic State extremist group have seized two small towns in northern Iraq after driving out Kurdish security forces.

Mosul governor Atheel al-Nujaifi, who fled to the largely autonomous Kurdish region when the Islamic State group and allied Sunni militants seized Iraq's second largest city in June, said today the towns of Zumar and Sinjar fell after fierce clashes that erupted the day before.

Residents of the two towns confirmed Mr al-Nujaifi's account.

The Islamic State group has carved out a self-styled caliphate in a large area straddling the Iraqi-Syrian border.

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