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90,000 people flee Iraq's Anbar, as IS militants advance on Ramadi

The UN said they were working to provide tens of thousands of displaced people with emergency support in the shape of food and shelter
Displaced Iraqis who fled Anbar province receive aid from the United Nations Refugee Agency (AFP)

Over 90,000 people have fled their homes in the western Iraqi province of Anbar, where Islamic State militants have been gaining ground over the past week, the United Nations said on Sunday.

IS militants have flooded towards the provincial capital of Ramadi, displacing thousands of families.

“Our top priority is delivering life-saving assistance to people who are fleeing – food, water and shelter are highest on the list of priorities,” Lise Grande, humanitarian coordinator for the United Nations in Iraq, said in a statement.

Iraqi government and militia forces are said to be preparing a counter-offensive against the IS advances, after reinforcements were sent from the capital Baghdad, according to local officials. As IS have approached Ramadi officials have warned that the provincial capital was in danger of falling to the militant group.

At least 2.7 million Iraqis have been displaced across the country since January 2014, including 400,000 people from the province of Anbar.

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