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Associated Press
This image posted on a militant website on Saturday, June 14, 2014, which has been verified and is consistent with other AP reporting, appears to show militants from the al-Qaida-inspired Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) with truckloads of captured Iraqi soldiers after taking over a base in Tikrit, Iraq. (AP Photo via militant website)

Sunni militants capture northern Iraqi town

– The mayor and residents of a northern Iraqi town close to the Syrian border say Sunni militants have captured the town of Tal Afar.

Mayor Abdulal Abdoul told The Associated Press that his town, located 260 miles northwest of Baghdad, was taken just before dawn on Monday.

The town has a population of some 200,000 people, mostly ethnic Shiite and Sunni Turkomen.

Residents in the town reached by phone confirmed its capture by militants. They spoke on condition of anonymity, fearing for their safety.

The fall of Tal Afar comes a week after militants of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant captured Iraq’s second-largest city, Mosul, and Saddam Hussein’s hometown of Tikrit in a lightening offensive.

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