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Fighters of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) stand guard at a checkpoint in the northern Iraq city of Mosul on June 11, 2014. REUTERS

Thousands of Iraqis flee as Sunni militants surge toward Baghdad

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BAGHDAD - Iraqi Kurdish forces took control of the northern oil city of Kirkuk on Thursday, after government troops abandoned their posts in the face of a triumphant Sunni Islamist rebel march towards Baghdad that threatens Iraq's future as a unified state.

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