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Iraqi forces thwart third Islamic State attack east of Ramadi

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BAGHDAD, May 21 (Reuters) - Iraqi forces said they thwarted a third attempt by Islamic State to break through their defensive lines east of the city of Ramadi overnight on Thursday.

Police and pro-government Sunni fighters exchanged mortar and sniper fire with the militants across the new frontline in Husaiba al-Sharqiya, where security forces have dug trenches to prevent the insurgents pushing further east.

Ramadi fell to the insurgents on Sunday in the most significant setback for Iraqi security forces in nearly a year, calling into question the U.S.-led strategy to "degrade and destroy" the Islamist group.

(editing by John Stonestreet)

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