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Sadr’s fighters guard Shiite shrines, Sunni inhabitants in Iraq's Samarra

The predominantly Sunni city of Samarra, which includes one of the main Shiite holy shrines and is under the control of mostly Shiite militias, continues to be a prime target for IS and criminal groups.
Members of the Saraya al-Salam (Peace Brigades), a group formed by Iraqi Shiite Muslim cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, grieve in a procession alongside a coffin during the funeral a fighter who was killed the day before in the northern city of Samarra during an attack by the Islamic State group (IS), on January 17, 2017 in the southern city of Basra. / AFP / HAIDAR MOHAMMED ALI        (Photo credit should read HAIDAR MOHAMMED ALI/AFP/Getty Images)
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SAMARRA, Iraq — Islamic State attacks continue on police stations and checkpoints in the Sunni-majority city of Samarra that is guarded by the non-local, volunteer Shiite armed group Saraya al-Salam.

Two Jan. 2 attacks left several security officers dead and resulted in a shoot-out lasting into the next day. On Jan. 17, the directorate of military intelligence announced that they arrested the man who had coordinated the attack two weeks earlier with a variety of weapons and explosive materials intended for being used in future attacks in Samarra.

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