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Russia hails Iraqi Fallujah’s liberation from Islamic State — diplomat

June 28, 2016, 14:44 UTC+3 MOSCOW

The Russian Foreign Ministry has also noted the manhunt that the Islamic State terrorist group is conducting in the Syrian province of Aleppo

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MOSCOW, June 28. /TASS/. Russia commends liberation of the Iraqi city of Fallujah from Islamic State militants, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Tuesday.

"According to the latest reports, Iraqi government troops backed by people’s militias have completed an operation to liberate the city of Fallujah from Islamic State gunmen and other armed groups," she said. "Currently, they are freeing city quarters from remaining terrorists and exterminating their nests."

She reminded that the Iraqi prime minister had visited the liberated city. "We consider liberation of the city to be a visible success of the Iraqi authorities in combating Islamic State," Zakharova underscored. "Moscow supports the Iraqi government’s efforts to counteract the terrorist threat and ensure the country’s unity."

"We call on the Iraqi authorities and all responsible political forces to spare no effort to achieve lasting national reconciliation with due account of the interests of all ethnic and religious groups of population," she said. "It would be a step to counter terrorists, to stabilize the situation in the city and open a perspective for prosperity in the country."

Manhunt for ethnic Kurds

The spokeswoman has also pointed out that the Islamic State terrorist group had staged a manhunt for ethnic Kurds in the Syrian province of Aleppo.

She reminded that Russia jointly with Egypt had called on all parties to the Syrian conflict to refrain from hostilities for the period of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan and strictly observe the ceasefire regime.

"Far from all armed groups acting in Syria have taken heed to it. Many of the forces backed by terrorists from Islamic State and Jabhat al-Nusra not only continue committing crime but have embarked on flagrant armed provocations," she said.

"Both Islamic State and Jabhat al-Nusra continue to intimidate civilians. Moreover, Islamic State gunmen have staged a manhunt for ethnic Kurds in the province of Aleppo," she said. "According to Kurdish activists, about 800 people have been taken hostage in the past week. Eleven were killed and more than 20 people were wounded while trying to escape."

The Russian diplomat cited the Lebanese mass media as reporting that "Islamic State militants used shells with poisonous agents to shell the positions of the Syrian armed forces in the province Raqqa." She stressed that the call for a ceasefire regime in Syria is still in force. "We hope it will be heard these days," Zakharova stressed.

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