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Iraq on 'high alert' amid IS attacks, mass killings

Shiite Muslim worshippers carry symbolic coffins for victims of the Islamic StateIraq boosted security Monday amid fears of the Islamic State group launching major attacks on Shiite pilgrims flocking to the shrine city of Karbala as further reports emerged of mass killings. The pilgrims are prime targets for the IS jihadists, who have carried out a series of mass executions in recent days, killing scores of members of a tribe in Iraq’s western Anbar province. A police officer and an official gave figures of more than 200 to 258 people killed, while Iraq’s human rights ministry put the toll at 322 and a tribal leader said 381 were executed. The mass killings appear aimed at discouraging resistance from powerful local tribes in Anbar, where IS overran large areas in June as pro-government forces suffered a string of setbacks.

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