7th APRIL 2015 - Vol.XXXVIII No.018
World News

Soldiers tighten grip on Iraq town

BAGHDAD: Iraqi troops, backed by US soldiers, last night further tightened their cordon on a town where Sunni gunmen had abducted hundreds of people and had threatened to kill them unless all Shi'ites left.

But the commandos held off from an all-out offensive, waiting for the result of renewed negotiations with the gunmen who, according to a defence ministry official, had put up "severe resistance".

The hostage-taking in Madaen, 30km south of Baghdad, has sparked fears of wider sectarian strife at a time when leaders from Shia and Sunni communities are seeking agreement on the make-up of a government.

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