Iraq, Syria blast caliphate declaration

Posted: July 1, 2014 at 4:14 a.m.

In this Sunday, June 29, 2014 photo an Iraqi refugee leaves his hometown Mosul, walking towards Irbil, on the outskirts of the northern city of Mosul, Iraq. The al-Qaida breakaway group that has seized much of Syria and Iraq has formally declared the establishment of a new Islamic state, demanding allegiance from Muslims worldwide in a move that could further strain relations with other militant groups. (AP Photo)

BAGHDAD -- A militant group's declaration of an Islamic state in territory it controls in Syria and Iraq touched off celebrations among its followers but drew condemnation and even ridicule from rivals and officials in Baghdad and Damascus.

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