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Iraqi Security Forces End Hostage Crisis, Casualties Reported

Iraqi security forces have stormed a local government compound in western Anbar Province to rescue hostages taken by a group of armed assailants.

Several people were reported killed, but it was not immediately clear whether they were killed during the initial attack or the storming of the government building.

Security forces stormed the building -- which also houses a police station -- in the town of Al-Baghdadi after a two-hour siege.

According to some reports, all of the attackers -- said to be six or seven -- were killed by security forces.

The attack was preceded by at least two explosions, possibly set off by suicide bombers.

It was unclear how many people had been taken hostage and whether any of the hostages had been killed.

The predominantly Sunni province of Anbar was a key insurgent base in the years after the U.S.-led invasion of 2003, but since 2006 local tribes have sided with the U.S. military and day-to-day violence has subsided.

compiled from agency reports