December 21, 2014
IRBIL, Iraq (AP) - Officials and residents say militants with the Islamic State extremist group have seized two small towns in northern Iraq after driving out Kurdish security forces.
The U.N. mission in Iraq, known as UNAMI, said as many as 200,000 civilians, mostly members of a minority Kurdish-speaking sect, have fled to a nearby mountain but were surrounded by militants and endangered.
The Islamic State group has carved out a self-styled caliphate in a large area straddling the Iraqi-Syrian border.
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