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Aug 29, 8:08 AM EDT

4 Iraqi soldiers killed in clashes with militants


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BAGHDAD (AP) -- Iraqi police officials say that clashes between Iraqi soldiers and militants with the Islamic State group south of Baghdad have killed four soldiers.

The hour-long clashes took place in Latifiyah, some 30 kilometers (20 miles) south of Baghdad. At least 14 militants were also killed in the clashes, and the rest were forced to retreat, the official said. Hospital officials confirmed the casualty figures. Both spoke on the condition of anonymity because they are not permitted to brief the media.

Militants with the Islamic State group have waged a fierce offensive this year across large swaths of northern and western Iraq. The U.S. military launched airstrikes in northern Iraq on Aug. 8 to help Iraqi and Kurdish forces curb the militant threat.

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