Islamic State group takes Iraqi city of Ramadi as premier orders Shiite militias to mobilize



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BAGHDAD (AP) — The Iraqi city of Ramadi has fallen to the Islamic State group.

The Pentagon had been describing it as a "fluid and contested battlefield," but that changed Sunday as Iraqi forces abandoned their weapons and armored vehicles to flee the capital of Anbar province despite intensified U.S.-led airstrikes.

Local officials say the militants have carried out mass killings of Iraqi security forces and civilians.

With defeat looming, Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi (HY'-dahr ahl ah-BAH'-dee) ordered security forces not to abandon their posts across Anbar province, apparently fearing the extremists could capture the entire desert region.

Sunday's retreat recalled the collapse of Iraqi security forces last summer in the face of the Islamic State group's blitz into Iraq that saw it capture a third of the country, where it has declared a caliphate, or Islamic State.

%@AP Links

160-v-30-(Jackie Quinn, AP correspondent)--An Iraqi provincial government official says "Ramadi has fallen" to the Islamic State group. AP correspondent Jackie Quinn. ((watch for dating)) (17 May 2015)

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161-a-18-(Jackie Quinn, AP correspondent)-"with air power"-AP correspondent Jackie Quinn reports government officials in Iraq say the group the Islamic State has gained control of the key city of Ramadi. (17 May 2015)

<<CUT *161 (05/17/15)££ 00:18 "with air power"

162-c-20-(Jackie Quinn, AP correspondent)-"the Islamic State"-AP correspondent Jackie Quinn reports a provincial government spokesman in Iraq is confirming extremist reports that the city of the Ramadi has fallen. (17 May 2015)

<<CUT *162 (05/17/15)££ 00:20 "the Islamic State"

APPHOTO BAG101: Iraq security forces withdraw from Ramadi, the capital of Iraq's Anbar province, 115 kilometers (70 miles) west of Baghdad, Sunday, May 17, 2015. Suicide car bomb attacks killed over 10 members of Iraqi security forces Sunday in Ramadi, which now is largely held by the Islamic State group, authorities said. Last week, the militants swept through Ramadi, seizing the main government headquarters and other key parts of the city. It marked a major setback for the Iraqi government's efforts to drive the militants out of areas they seized last year. (AP Photo) (17 May 2015)

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APPHOTO ZHM106: In this Saturday, May 16, 2015 photo, Iraqis fleeing from their hometown of Ramadi rest near the Bzebiz bridge, 65 kilometers (40 miles) west of Baghdad. The Islamic State group seized control of the city of Ramadi on Sunday, sending Iraqi forces racing out of the city in a major loss despite the support of U.S.-led airstrikes targeting the extremists. (AP Photo/Hadi Mizban) (16 May 2015)

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APPHOTO ZHM102: In this Saturday, May 16, 2015 photo, Iraqis fleeing from their hometown of Ramadi walk on a street near the Bzebiz bridge, 65 kilometers (40 miles) west of Baghdad. The Islamic State group seized control of the city of Ramadi on Sunday, sending Iraqi forces racing out of the city in a major loss despite the support of U.S.-led airstrikes targeting the extremists. (AP Photo/Hadi Mizban) (16 May 2015)

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APPHOTO ZHM101: In this Saturday, May 16, 2015 photo, Iraqis fleeing from their hometown of Ramadi rest near the Bzebiz bridge, 65 kilometers (40 miles) west of Baghdad. Muhannad Haimour, a spokesman for the governor of Iraq's Anbar province, said Sunday, "Ramadi has fallen," to the Islamic State group. He also said the military's operational command in the city has been taken as well. (AP Photo/Hadi Mizban) (16 May 2015)

<<APPHOTO ZHM101 (05/16/15)££

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