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Iraq offers weeklong amnesty to Anbar militants

It remains unclear, however, whether the amnesty extends to militants affiliated with the Al-Qaeda-linked Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).

07.02.2014
Iraq offers weeklong amnesty to Anbar militants

BAGHDAD 

Iraqi authorities on Friday offered a weeklong amnesty for militants fighting army forces in western Iraq's violence-prone Anbar province.

The announcement came one day after a visit by Iraqi Defense Minister Saadoun al-Dulaimi and Deputy Interior Minister Adnan al-Asadi to the predominantly Sunni province.

"A seven-day amnesty period has been offered to allow wayward citizens to turn themselves in to security forces," Interior Ministry spokesman SaadMoen said Friday.

It remains unclear, however, whether the amnesty extends to militants affiliated with the Al-Qaeda-linked Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).

According to the Interior Ministry, attendees of Thursday's meeting called for army forces to remain in Anbar.

Last December, the Iraqi army unleashed a wide-scale operation aimed at hunting down ISIL militants in the province.

But local Sunni tribes opposed to the Shiite-dominated government have continued to criticize ongoing civilian causalities.

According to official estimates, scores have been killed, hundreds injured and thousands displaced since the violence began.

By Aref Youssef

englishnews@aa.com.tr

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