ISIS fighters kill 500, capture major Iraqi city

Iraq:  Islamic State forces captured the western Iraqi city of Ramadi today after sending in a relentless wave of suicide bombers in a bloodbath that left at least 500 people dead.

The city fell after the Iraqi army fled Ramadi, the capital of Iraq’s largest province of Anbar.

A statement from Islamic State said the fanatics held the whole of the city - just 70 miles west of Baghdad.

Anbar government spokesman Muhannad Haimour confirmed the city had fallen into enemy hands and added: “We believe at least 500 people, both civilian and military, have been killed over the past few days."

If confirmed, the capture would be Islamic State’s most important victory for nearly a year since it took the northern city of Mosul in June 2014.

Iraqi state television said the country’s prime minister Haider al-Abadi has ordered Shiite militias to be prepared to go into Anbar.

It follows concerns that ordering the militias in to the mainly Sunni province could spark further sectarian bloodshed.