Sign in to comment!

Menu
Home

World

More than 140,000 Iraqis flee Anbar province as clashes with al-Qaida militants intensify

  • 2e36653e6324d103490f6a70670057ce.jpg

    In this Thursday, Jan. 23, 2014 photo, mourners carry the coffin of Haitham Abdo Rahman, 38, who was killed in a bombing, before his burial at the cemetery in Fallujah, Iraq. Islamic militants controlling a mainly Sunni area west of Baghdad are so well-armed that they could occupy the capital, members of Iraq's al-Qaida branch - known as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant - have taken over parts of Ramadi, the capital of the largely Sunni western province of Anbar. (AP Photo) (The Associated Press)

  • 600f5138632bd103490f6a7067003957.jpg

    In this Thursday, Jan. 23, 2014 photo, mourners pray over the coffin of Haitham Abdo Rahman, 38, who was killed in a bombing, before his burial at the cemetery in Fallujah, Iraq. Islamic militants controlling a mainly Sunni area west of Baghdad are so well-armed that they could occupy the capital, members of Iraq's al-Qaida branch - known as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant - have taken over parts of Ramadi, the capital of the largely Sunni western province of Anbar. (AP Photo) (The Associated Press)

  • cc69bcd76324d103490f6a7067007eac.jpg

    In this Thursday, Jan. 23, 2014 photo, gunmen prepare to take up combat positions in Fallujah, Iraq. Islamic militants controlling a mainly Sunni area west of Baghdad are so well-armed that they could occupy the capital, members of Iraq's al-Qaida branch - known as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant - have taken over parts of Ramadi, the capital of the largely Sunni western province of Anbar. (AP Photo) (The Associated Press)

  • 6821ee0f632ad103490f6a706700977c.jpg

    In this Thursday, Jan. 23, 2014 photo, gunmen take combat positions in Fallujah, Iraq. Islamic militants controlling a mainly Sunni area west of Baghdad are so well-armed that they could occupy the capital, members of Iraq's al-Qaida branch - known as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant - have taken over parts of Ramadi, the capital of the largely Sunni western province of Anbar. (AP Photo) (The Associated Press)

  • e9cf2f82632bd103490f6a7067004869.jpg

    In this Thursday, Jan. 23, 2014 photo, gunmen take up combat positions in Fallujah, Iraq. Islamic militants controlling a mainly Sunni area west of Baghdad are so well-armed that they could occupy the capital, members of Iraq's al-Qaida branch - known as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant - have taken over parts of Ramadi, the capital of the largely Sunni western province of Anbar. (AP Photo) (The Associated Press)

A United Nations official says more than 140,000 Iraqis have fled parts of Anbar province over clashes between security forces and al-Qaida militants.

The spokesman for the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees, Peter Kessler, described it as "the largest" displacement witnessed in the country since the sectarian violence of 2006-2008.

He added that more than 65,000 people fled the conflict in the cities of Ramadi and Fallujah just in the past week alone.

Since late December, members of Iraq's al-Qaida branch — known as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant — have taken over parts of Ramadi, the capital of the largely Sunni province of Anbar. They also control the center of the nearby city of Fallujah.