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Officials: Gunmen overrun Iraq-Syria border crossing

The gunmen were loyal to the rebel Free Syrian Army

Published: Updated:

Gunmen took control Tuesday of Al-Qaim, the Iraqi side of a border crossing with Syria, after security forces withdrew, police and army officers said.

The gunmen were loyal to the rebel Free Syrian Army and Al-Qaeda's Syrian front group Al-Nusra Front, which already controlled the Syrian side of the crossing.

Meanwhile, at least 44 prisoners were killed in an overnight militant assault on a police station in the Iraqi city of Baquba, security and medical officials said on Tuesday.

Accounts differed as to who was responsible for the killings, with Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki's security spokesman saying the prisoners were killed by insurgents carrying out the attack, and other officials saying they were killed by security forces as they tried to escape.

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