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Anbar protesters remain defiant despite government threats

In spite of calls from the government to postpone the Anbar sit-ins until after parliamentary elections, protesters there say they will not leave until their demands are met.
A man reacts on a coffin of his relative, who was killed in an attack in the western town of Rutba in Anbar province, during a funeral in Najaf, 160 km (100 miles) south of Baghdad, December 22, 2013. Militants killed at least 18 Iraqi officers and soldiers in Sunni-dominated Anbar province on Saturday, including a commander who oversaw a crackdown on Sunni protesters earlier this year, military sources said. REUTERS/Alaa Al-Marjani (IRAQ - Tags: CIVIL UNREST RELIGION POLITICS) - RTX16RMF

Assassinations targeting officials in Anbar province in western Iraq are increasing to a terrifying rate. The al-Qaeda-affiliated Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham has claimed responsibility for the majority of the killings.

The operations now being carried out by al-Qaeda seem more organized and more violent than those of the past. Over the past two months, al-Qaeda-affiliated groups have killed officers and district directors and threatened to kill security forces if they continue to serve in the ranks of the army and police. In addition, they have carried out car bombings and raids against government headquarters.

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