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Iraqi prime minister pledges to root out militants

Iraq's outgoing prime minster pledged Monday to turn his country into "a big grave" for Sunni militants from the Islamic State group and commended security forces who achieved a rare victory over insurgents by ending the siege of a Shiite town - reported the SkyNews. Nouri al-Maliki made the comments during an unannounced visit to the northern community of Amirli, where he was greeted with hugs. A day earlier, Iraqi forces backed by Iran-allied Shiite militias and U.S. airstrikes broke a two-month siege of the town where some 15,000 Shiite Turkmens had been stranded. In footage aired on state TV, al-Maliki was shown sitting at a wooden desk in front of a large poster of Shiite leader Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistsani, ordering promotions and awards for those who fought in the battle. Four trucks loaded with food and medicine arrived after being sent by the Iraqi government and the Iraqi Red Crescent, according to Ali al-Bayati, who heads the aid organization called the Turkmen Saving Foundation. Soldiers began bringing food to families in their houses Sunday night.

Sept. 1, 2014, 8:32 p.m. PHOTO
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Iraqi prime minister pledges to root out militants