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Iraqi PM: Majority of IS fighters foreign

AFP , Tuesday 2 Jun 2015
Iraqi PM
Iraq's Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi speaks during a news conference at the Foreign Ministry in Baghdad March 31, 2015 (Photo: Ruters)
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Iraq's prime minister said Tuesday that the majority of Islamic State fighters were foreign, as he visited Paris to drum up international support for the fight against the jihadist group.

"What I can see for Iraq, the flow of foreign fighters is more than before," Haider al-Abadi told reporters, hours before a meeting of around 20 foreign ministers from the US-led anti-IS coalition in the French capital.

"There is an international problem, it has to be solved."

He said that up until recently, around six out of 10 fighters were Iraqi and the remainder foreign whereas now the proportion was reversed.

"Daesh is creating a new generation of fighters, dedicated, ideologised. They are prepared to die but they are not suicide bombers," said the prime minister, using an alternative name for the IS jihadists.

Whereas suicide bombers were prepared to die but not fight, Daesh jihadists were prepared to both fight and die, creating a dangerous enemy.

Abadi's comments came after a huge suicide bomb against an Iraqi police base killed at least 37 people.

The blast further slowed an operation to retake the city of Ramadi, which will be a main focus of the Paris talks.

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