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Iraqi army, militants clash west of Baghdad

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BAGHDAD — Clashes between Iraqi troops and Sunni militants west of Baghdad killed at least four children today as the United Nations announced its highest level of emergency for the humanitarian crisis ignited by the advance of Islamic militants across much of the country’s north and west.

The extremist Islamic State group’s lightning advance has driven hundreds of thousands of people from their homes since June, and last week prompted the U.S. to launch aid operations and airstrikes as the militants threatened religious minorities and the largely autonomous Kurdish region.

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