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Iraqi army, militants clash west of Baghdad

BAGHDAD - Clashes between Iraqi troops and Sunni insurgents west of Baghdad killed at least four children on Thursday as the United Nations said the humanitarian crisis ignited by the advance of Islamic militants had escalated to its highest emergency level.

 

The extremist Islamic State group's lightning advance across much of northern and western Iraq has driven hundreds of thousands of people from their homes since June, and last week prompted the US to launch aid operations and airstrikes as the militants threatened religious minorities and the largely autonomous Kurdish region.