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UN endorses Iraq military force against advancing Islamist rebels

UNITED NATIONS - The United Nations on Wednesday issued an unusual call for military force, with a senior UN official saying the advance of Islamist militants throughout the north and east of Iraq must be dealt with militarily, though success will hinge on a broad political consensus.

 

Nickolay Mladenov, who as UN special envoy to Iraq heads the world body's political mission there, said Iraq's key southern oil reserves remained safe. But he raised the estimated civilian death toll to at least 1,300 since the recent fighting began, up from Tuesday's estimate of more than 1,000.

 

His remarks came as hardline Sunni militants attacked one of Iraq's largest air bases. (Reuters)