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Gunmen, bombers hit local Iraqi government compound: sources

Oct 3, 2011, 2 a.m.

BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Heavily armed gunmen and suicide bombers stormed a local Iraqi government building in western Anbar province on Tuesday, taking around 15 people hostage including a police chief, local authorities said.

"Gunmen stormed the governmental compound in Baghdadi town, and security forces are trying to resolve the situation," Anbar Governor Qassim Mohammed, told Reuters.

Casualties from the attack -- initiated by suicide bombers -- were not immediately clear, police sources said.

Anbar, in a vast desert province in western Iraq, is the former stronghold of Iraq's al-Qaeda affiliates.

Violence in Iraq has fallen sharply since the height of sectarian strife in 2006-2007, but Sunni Islamist insurgents and radical Shi'ite militias still carry out daily attacks even as U.S. troops prepare to withdraw at the end of the year.

(Reporting by Muhanad Mohammed; Writing by Patrick Markey; Editing by Louise Ireland)

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