Middle East

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IS jihadist militants began their Iraqi offensive on June 9 and within 48 hours seized large swathe of northern and north-central Iraq including the cities of Mosul, Tikrit, declaring their intentions to continue all the way to Baghdad.

The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant is a Sunni group led by Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and backed by thousands of Islamist fighters in Syria and Iraq. 

The West fears IS could eventually emulate al-Qaida and strike overseas.