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Sunni militants from the Islamic State group on Thursday seized Iraq’s largest dam, placing them in control of enormous power and water resources and access to the river that runs through the heart of Baghdad. Residents living near the dam told The Associated Press that after a week of attempts, the radical Islamist gunmen successfully stormed the Mosul Dam and forced Kurdish forces to withdraw from the area. The group’s advances came as the capital has been shaken by a string of car bombs that has claimed more than 80 lives in the last two days. The Islamic State group posted a statement online Thursday, confirming that they had taken control of the dam and vowed to continue “the march in all directions,” adding that it will not “give up the great Caliphate project.”

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