Al-Qaida-inspired insurgents gaining ground in Iraq

A wave of suicide bombings by Islamic State militants in western Iraq has killed 40 soldiers amid waning efforts by security forces to retake territory from the Sunni extremist group, a senior Iraqi commander said Monday.

The attacks, which occurred on Sunday in the town of Sijir, 70 kilometers (43 miles) west of Baghdad, dealt a heavy blow to government efforts to rein in the militants whose rampage has seized much of the country's north and west this summer — even as Iraqi Kurdish peshmerga fighters are starting to get training by Iraq's Western allies in the battle against the Islamic State group. (AP)

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