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Nigerian girls given deportation orders in 2012 return to Regina – Regina

REGINA – The two Nigerian girls who were given deportation orders for illegally working while living in Canada on student visas, have been granted permission to return by the federal government.

Favour Amadi and Victoria Ordu arrived at Regina International Airport on Saturday evening.

“I just thank God, I thank everyone who has fought this battle for me,” said Ordu.

They were greeted warmly by dozens of supporters.

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“My heart broke when they left,” said Vianne Timmons, president of the university. “I’m really just looking forward  and thinking about all the stuff we have to do to to make sure that these two young women convocate in a couple of years.”

The girls were third year students at the U of R. In June 2012, they took jobs at Walmart without proper work visas. Both girls claimed they were unaware the work was a violation of their study permits.

“They are so grateful to everyone that helped to make this day happen. And they’re extremely happy, extremely happy. School starts July 2nd for them, and so, they’re going to go back and continue their studies,” said Kay Adebogun, who works as the girls’ immigration counselor.

For over a year after they were ordered to leave the country. Amadi and Ordu hid in various Regina churches, and eventually decided to move back to Nigeria last October.

“It shouldn’t have gone to the extreme that it went,” said Ralph Goodale, Liberal MP for Wascana, who brought the girls’ case to the House of Commons. He added, “I think we need to review these facts, review the rules, the operational procedures, the behavior of all of the parties involved to learn from this experience, and hopefully find a way to prevent it from happening in the future.”

Family and famous admirers pay tribute to Maya Angelou – National

WATCH ABOVE:  Maya Angelou the poet, author and activist was honoured today  a memorial service. Robin Stickley reports.

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – U.S. first lady Michelle Obama lauded poet, orator and sage Maya Angelou as the first person who let her know she could be a strong and smart black woman, joining other famous admirers and friends in a private memorial service Saturday that was filled with tears, laughter, poetry and song.

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Former U.S. President Bill Clinton said Angelou, one of the most famous black writers of the 20th century, was a woman who seemed to have lived five lifetimes in one. Others said the writer, who rose from poverty and segregation, gave strength to millions of women to live their own lives in modern America.

The memorial service led by the first lady, Clinton and Oprah Winfrey paid tribute to Angelou at Wake Forest University in North Carolina where the writer had taught for decades. Angelou died May 28 at age 86 after a life with important roles in the civil rights movement and the arts.

WATCH: Poet laureate mourns Maya Angelou

Obama told the audience gathered in a university chapel how reading Angelou’s poem “Phenomenal Woman” changed a little black girl who grew up on the south side of Chicago and whose first doll was a Malibu Barbie.

“She celebrated black women’s beauty like no one had ever dared to before. Our curves, our stride, our strength, our grace,” Obama told those seated in the wooden pews. “Her words were clever and sassy. They were powerful and sexual and boastful.”

Tall and majestic, Angelou added heft to her spoken words with a deep and sonorous voice, describing herself as a poet in love with “the music of language.” In January 1993, she recited the most popular presidential inaugural poem in history, “On the Pulse of Morning,” when Clinton opened his first term. She inspired many and became a mentor to Winfrey before she became a TV talk show host.

Clinton remembered that voice, and how Angelou chose not to speak for five years after she was raped by her mother’s boyfriend as a child.

“She was without a voice for five years and then she developed the greatest voice on the planet. God loaned her His voice,” Clinton said Saturday. “She had the voice of God. And he decided he wanted it back for a while.”

He said Angelou was a role model for many.

READ MORE: Inspiring words from poet Maya Angelou

“We could just all be up here talking about how Maya Angelou represented a big piece of American history. And triumphed over adversity. And proved how dumb racism is,” Clinton said.

The service included several rousing gospel songs. There were tears, but laughter too, as Angelou’s friends remembered a clever woman with a deep spiritual faith.

At the private North Carolina school, the writer was regularly addressed as Dr. Angelou out of respect for all the honorary degrees she received even though she never graduated from college.

Her magnetism also drew her into friendships with famous figures from Malcolm X and Nelson Mandela to Clinton and Winfrey.

Winfrey remembered Angelou as her spiritual queen mother, saying she always took notes when they spoke on the phone. She cried a few times as she remembered how Angelou was a vital part of her career, reminding her of the millions of people she has touched in her TV career.

READ MORE: Author, poet Maya Angelou dies at 86

Winfrey said she struggled to put what Angelou meant into words, then realized she owed the poet not words, but actions.

“I cannot fill her shoes, but I can walk in her footsteps,” Winfrey said.

Clinton said he first encountered Angelou through her autobiographical book I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings. He grew up about 20 miles (30 kilometres) from where Angelou spent her childhood and said the author’s power was amplified because he was so familiar with her surroundings.

Clinton compared Angelou to a firefly who would light up at the most unexpected time, illuminating “something right before your nose you’ve been overlooking, something in your mind you’ve been burying. Something in your heart you were afraid to face.”

©2014The Associated Press

Local event raises over $130,000 to help Saskatchewan kids play sports – Regina

REGINA – Hundreds of participants took part in KidSport Regina’s 18th annual Fun and Fitness Corporate Challenge, playing a variety of unusual games, Saturday.

“We always bring up the example of hockey where $750 is sometimes not even covering just the registration,” said Lindsay Sutherland, provincial coordinator for Kidsport. “I mean, it’s hard for parents if you can’t afford it, and your child would really benefit from it, so that’s where we come in.”

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Last year, KidSport helped about 8,900 kids in Saskatchewan, granting $1.4 million to cover registration fees.

The event, located at the University of the Regina, included 34 teams this year, and a number of odd games, such as ‘shot in the dark beach volleyball,’ which featured a tarp covering the net and lower portion, not letting each team see each other.

Kassidy Smith, a recipient of the program’s registration fee coverage, spoke to the crowd at the event.

“I get to meet knew people, I get to do things that I love. And if I didn’t have sports, I kind of would be a little bit bored sometimes,” said the 11-year-old.

The teams are competed to claim the top prize – a trophy – but many agreed the real win goes beyond these games.

“So they can play sports like me and get the privilege, and, so it makes me feel better knowing that other kids get to play hockey and enjoy the sport like I have,” said Brandon Brezinski, who was on the Sasktel team.

Geoff Reed, decked out in a Red Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers costume, shared the same sentiments.

“They’re the next generation. Money shouldn’t be the object, they should be able to go do what they want,” said Reed, who was on the Clifton Associates team.

Grand Prix indeed: Edmonton woman waits a year for promised F1 package refund

WATCH: A death meant the trip of a lifetime to see the Grand Prix in Montreal had to be cancelled. But as Billy Shields reports, despite promises from the company who organized the tour, a refund took over a year to be processed.

MONTREAL — When Ann Brown bought her husband a 2014 Canadian Grand Prix package, it was supposed to tick a “bucket list” item from his list.

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But after the untimely death of a family friend, she said what ended up happening was that a Montreal-area tour company pocketed the money and resold the tour.

“This just blows me away. I absolutely trusted them and I wish I didn’t,” she said from her home in Edmonton.

“This was an opportunity to give my husband and his friend a trip of a lifetime.”

She told Global News that she ordered the package from a St. Lambert company called SportVac Voyages as a present for her husband in 2013. It included hotel, airport transportation, two grandstand seats and entry to a cocktail party.

The exterior of SportsVac on June 3, 2015.

Billy Shields/Global News

The problem?

As she isn’t a racing fan, Brown said she bought the $2700 tour so her husband could take his best friend.

“In 2013, I purchased two Silver packages for the 2014 Montreal F1 from Formula Tours,” Brown told Global News in an email.

“They were purchased for my husband Larry and his friend as a father’s day gift.”

But in the end, the trip had to be cancelled after her husband’s friend died from cancer complications in the spring of 2014.

At that time, Brown reached out to the company to see if it would be possible to get a refund — and that’s where the problems started.

“They’ve just been putting me off and putting me off.”

She supplied Global News with an email chain that seemed to indicate the company was working on resolving the issue.

“For months now their president has stated that he has a cheque sitting on his desk and he just needed it signed,” she said in an email.

“I was also advised that the package had been resold, so they were not out any money!”

Yet, despite these promises and on the eve of the 2015 Formula One race, Brown said she still has not been reimbursed.

Kimi Raikkonen’s Ferrari turns a corner in the 2014 edition of the Canadian Grand Prix, which Ann Brown said her husband Larry Brown was going to attend with a friend.

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes

The company responds

Global News reached out to SportVac Voyages to find out the company’s take on what happened.

“Although our policy is clear, it goes without saying that each situation has to be examined from a human perspective,” wrote company president, Marc Savoie, via email.

“Over the last two weeks, we have had various discussions with the organiser, and confirm that, nothwithstanding clear company policy, a reimbursement will indeed be issued.”

Brown said she was overjoyed to finally have the issue resolved.

“This is the closest I have been to getting the money back and it only took one call from you!” she said in an email.

“The money should be in my account by tomorrow morning at the latest.”

In fact, Brown confirmed that she received her refund on Wednesday afternoon.

Saturday, June 7, 2014 on the Global Edmonton Morning News

The Edmonton Swiss Men’s Choir proudly presents Springtime in the Rockies, a choral and video celebration of Swiss culture in western Canada. The event features the Edmonton premiere of the documentary film Swiss Guides in the Canadian Rockies – Beyond Adventure. Tom sits down with Hans Voegeli to learn more about the film.

HOME DESIGN – Next week, the H&M at West Edmonton Mall will be the only store in Canada to sell the H&M Home Collection. They’re launching the collection next week when the newly renovated store re-opens. Kevin speaks with Emily Scarlett about the collection.

CRAFT BEER – The Edmonton Craft Beer Festival is a celebration of fine craft beer, delicious food pairings and community. This year, participants will have the chance to sample over 700 beers, ciders and meads from 47 different countries. Tom speaks with Claire Hanna about the festival.

WALK FOR MIRACLES – On Sunday, thousands of participants will take part in the 2014 Edmonton Walk for Miracles at Gold Bar Park to raise funds for the Stollery Children’s Hospital Foundation. Tom sits down with Carolyn McKenzie and Neal Paulin to learn more about the walk.

SCARS – Terra MacLean from the Second Chance Animal Rescue Society (SCARS) stops by with a few dogs looking for their forever homes.

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Re-Up BBQ fried chicken recipe – BC

Chef Michael Kaisaris

Batter:

INGREDIENTS

1 cup potato starch

½ cup rice flour

½ cup all-purpose flour

1 tsp baking soda

METHOD

Add all ingredients into a fine mesh sieve, and sift together into a large bowl. The bowl should be big enough for the batter mix and as many pieces of chicken as you want to bread (suggested amount is eight or ten).

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Whisk the sifted batter together until there are no distinct pockets of any of the flours.

Chicken:

INGREDIENTS

Up to 10 chicken thigh or drumstick pieces. (Note: Leg meat tends to stay more moist – if you must use white meat, make sure to buy bone-in, skin-on pieces).

Re-up BBQ spice rub

French’s yellow mustard

6L rice bran oil (can be substituted with peanut oil, or canola oil as a last resort)

METHOD

Dust each piece of the chicken on all sides with spice rub, and then toss the seasoned chicken with mustard (enough to lightly coat it). Seal the chicken in a zip lock bag and refrigerate overnight.

To fry the chicken:

Note: Working with an open flame can be dangerous – we recommend placing a fire extinguisher next to the stove.

Fill a ten- or twelve-quart pot no more than half way with oil. Attach a candy thermometer to the pot, and heat the oil on the stove until it reaches 350 degrees F. Adjust the burner for the pot until the temperature of the oil is neither rising nor falling.

Before you start frying, set a metal cooling rack on a baking sheet pan, and position it on the counter next to the stove. Place some of the leftover spice rub in a shaker or bowl nearby.

To batter the chicken:

Whisk three or four whole eggs in a large bowl large. Add chicken pieces and coat by tossing with metal tongs. Remove each piece of chicken from the egg wash individually, and place in the batter bowl. Toss to coat, and immediately add each piece to the hot oil.

Fry 4 pieces of chicken at a time until all of your pieces have been fried (approximately 15 minutes for each batch). You’ll know they are done when they float to the surface. Do not fry too many pieces at a time, or the oil will become too cool to crisp the chicken. Monitor the temperature constantly, and increase if you notice it has dropped below 300 F for more than a minute or two. Gently remove the pieces with your metal tongs (plastic will melt) and rest them on the cooling rack.

Immediately begin to fry the second batch, or wait until the temperature has fully recovered to 350 F before frying.

Season each piece with a sprinkling of the spice rub and serve with an assortment of your favorite sauces.

Sharapova edges Halep for 2nd French Open title – National

PARIS – Nothing came easily for Maria Sharapova in the French Open final.

Serves hit by her surgically repaired shoulder often missed the mark, resulting in 12 double-faults. Shots that would be winners against most opponents were retrieved by Simona Halep and sent right back. Leads that usually hold up vanished in a blink. On a muggy afternoon, with the temperature in the high 70s (20s Celsius), points were lung-searing struggles.

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Sharapova was up to the task. In an entertaining and undulating championship match — the first women’s final at Roland Garros in 13 years to go three sets — Sharapova showed that she’s as tough as they come, particularly on the red clay that used to flummox her. She edged Halep 6-4, 6-7 (5), 6-4 Saturday to win a second French Open title in three years.

READ MORE: ‘The phones have been ringing like crazy. They want to see Genie’

“This is the toughest Grand Slam final I’ve ever played,” Sharapova said.

It is her fifth major trophy in all. Remarkably, Sharapova owns twice as many from Paris as the one each she won at Wimbledon in 2004, the U.S. Open in 2006, and the Australian Open in 2008.

“If somebody had told me … at some stage in my career, that I’d have more Roland Garros titles than any other Grand Slam, I’d probably go get drunk,” Sharapova said with a chuckle. “Or tell them to get drunk. One or the other.”

The 3-hour, 2-minute tangle featured too many momentum swings to count, filled with lengthy baseline exchanges, and terrific defence and shotmaking by both women.

Not bad for someone who once famously described herself as feeling like a “cow on ice” when it came to playing on clay, a slow, demanding surface that requires excellent footwork. Now Sharapova knows how to move on clay, and can stretch points when needed. Since the start of 2012, Sharapova is 54-4 with seven titles on clay. She’s also won 20 consecutive clay three-setters, including four in a row this week.

READ MORE: Canada’s Bouchard loses to Sharapova in French Open semifinal

“It says that she’s very fit. It says that she’s very determined,” said Sven Groenefeld, Sharapova’s coach. “And it says that she never gives up.”

Sharapova broke into a huge smile while hoisting the trophy overhead, then shaking it with both hands and scanning a stadium that, improbably, has become hers. This was her third final in a row in Paris: She won the 2012 title to complete a career Grand Slam, then lost last year to Serena Williams, who bowed out in the second round this time.

Sharapova is 20-1 the last three years at Roland Garros — which is nothing compared to Rafael Nadal’s 65-1 career French Open mark heading into Sunday’s final Sunday against Novak Djokovic, but certainly quite impressive.

“You’re not just born being a natural clay-court player. OK, maybe if you’re Nadal. But certainly not me,” Sharapova said. “I didn’t grow up on it; didn’t play on it. I just took it upon myself to make myself better on it.”

Plus, Sharapova had an operation on her right shoulder, the one she uses to swing her racket, in October 2008. That joint troubled the Russian again in 2013, when she played one match from July to December.

READ MORE: Canada’s Bouchard ready for next challenge

She now travels with a physiotherapist, Jerome Bianchi, and told him during the post-match ceremony, “Thank you for keeping me healthy.”

This was the ninth Grand Slam final for the No. 7-seeded Sharapova, and the first for Halep, a 22-year-old Romanian seeded fourth. Supported by a dozen folks in her guest box wearing red T-shirts saying “Allez Simona,” and fans that chanted her first name, Halep acquitted herself well, showing off the scrambling baseline style that carried her to six straight-set wins until Saturday.

“I will not forget this match,” said Halep, who wiped away tears afterward.

Each time it appeared Sharapova was ready to pull away, she was forced to do extra work.

At 4-3 in the second set, Sharapova held two break points, but Halep saved both with gutsy groundstrokes. In the tiebreaker, Sharapova got within two points of victory at 5-3, but Halep took the next four to claim the set.

That’s when Sharapova left for the locker room, taking an 8-minute break during which she changed out of her sweat-soaked outfit — and let Halep stew for a bit. Sharapova went ahead 4-2, but Halep broke back to 4-all.

It turned out that was her last stand, though. Sharapova wouldn’t lose another point, gritting her teeth and shaking her fists after breaking at love for 5-4 with a backhand winner, then holding at love by forcing a backhand error from Halep on match point.

When it ended, Sharapova dropped to her knees, caking her shins with clay, and folded her body forward, burying her face in her hands.

“I had good tactics today. I opened the angles. Also, I was hitting the ball strong,” Halep said.

But Sharapova, Halep continued, “was moving really well.”

Cow on ice?

More like Queen of Clay.

©2014The Canadian Press

People of Moncton take back their streets, thank RCMP after shootings

MONCTON, N.B. – Clutching his loaded hunting rifle, Justin Savoie huddled with his wife and two small children in their basement, unsure of what to expect as a gunman prowled their Moncton neighbourhood

Savoie scrambled into the impromptu bunker after hearing the pops of multiple gunshots and the shouts of an RCMP officer urging him to run home as fast as he could.

“I didn’t sleep at all,” Savoie said Saturday of how he spent the next 30 hours under lockdown as the RCMP hunted for a suspect who shot five of their colleagues, killing three.

Youngster place flowers in a entrance garden to the neighbourhood of Rosemont Park in Moncton, N.B. on Saturday, June 7, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

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READ MORE: Hundreds attend vigil for fallen RCMP officers

“It made me more comfortable to know that I had that hunting rifle in the house. That was my security system.”

One of the fallen officers was killed was the man who had warned Savoie about the danger.

RCMP officers arrested a suspect on Friday not far from Savoie’s house. Justin Bourque, 24, is facing three charges of first-degree murder and two counts of attempted murder in the shootings, which besieged a large section of Moncton.

He appeared in court to face the allegations on Friday and his case was adjourned until next month.

On Saturday, people in the area shared stories about their traumatic experiences and expressed their gratitude to the RCMP for keeping them safe.

WATCH: Suspected killer Justin Bourque has now be charged with the first-degree murder of three RCMP officers and the attempted murder of two others. Ross Lord reports.

Savoie, a banker, said he was so impressed by their work that he signed up to take an RCMP entrance exam at the end of the month.

“This kind of intrigued me a little bit, and some other people actually, to join the RCMP,” he said.

Others in the area decided Saturday would be the day to take back their neighbourhoods.

More than 200 local children raced up and down the streets in a bike rally with a route that took them past some of the spots where the officers were shot.

Many of the bikes had colourful, handmade signs hanging from the handlebars that featured messages like, “Thank you RCMP” and “Thanks to our officers.” The children also planted red and white flowers in a garden as teary-eyed parents looked on.

READ MORE: Are police prepared to deal with active shooters?

“We wanted to sort of show people that this isn’t a crime scene, it’s our home,” said Angela Gates, who helped organize the rally with her children.

“This is where we live, this is where our kids play and we just wanted to do something to say our streets are safe again.”

At the end of the event, dozens of people lined up to shake the hands of two on-duty RCMP officers guarding one of the crime scenes. Some even gave them hugs.

Across the street, a curb was still stained with blood that hadn’t been completely washed off.

Gates said she thanked the officers for their work during the lockdown.

“We felt very safe here,” she said. “When we looked out our windows, there were police everywhere in our neighbourhood.”

Signs of gratitude for the RCMP were visible Saturday throughout the northwestern end of Moncton.

READ MORE: Justin Bourque, From kind friend to suspected RCMP killer

Messages of thanks directed at police were posted on businesses along the bustling Mountain Road, scrawled on colourful homemade banners outside residences and a few were even drawn in chalk on driveways.

A woman who lives across the street from the scene of one shooting said she was impressed with how officers stood outside her home, guns drawn for hours.

She said she couldn’t believe how dedicated they were, particularly after five of their colleagues had been shot.

“I can say that our officers were amazing – amazing,” said Diana, who would only give her first name.

“They were scared out of their wits, too, just like the rest of us.”

Diana, whose husband, Floyd, witnessed the shooting and saw the suspect, said the whole neighbourhood has been traumatized.

She said she was still trembling Saturday.

“It was scary as hell,” she said.

Police continued their work in the area on Saturday.

A few dozen Mounties scoured a ballpark, a wooded area, and a field close to where officers arrested Bourque.

In the field, which runs behind the neighbourhood where Bourque was apprehended Friday, more than 20 officers walked nearly shoulder to shoulder, carefully sifting through the long grass in search of clues.

Police have said Bourque was not armed when he gave himself up to police on the lawn of a home close the field.

Longtime Mailhot Avenue resident Bob Leblanc said the town will overcome these events.

“I feel that the community is strong,” he said.

“We’ll get through this.”

Leblanc said he saw the rifle-carrying suspect walk right past his house “nonchalantly” and slip between some hedges before the gunshots rang out.

The officer killed near Leblanc’s house was the same one who warned Savoie to run away.

Savoie said he was the second-last person the Mountie shouted a directive at before being fatally shot.

The officer’s final command, he said, told the shooter to get down.

Moments later, Savoie said he heard what he believes were the fatal blasts.

He’s confident people in the community will eventually recover.

“You can only take things one day at a time and you can’t assume that this is going to happen twice in a lifetime,” Savoie said.

“Obviously, it’s still something that’s always going to be in the back of your mind.”

©2014The Canadian Press

Man shot and killed on the Plateau in Mile End – Montreal

Watch above: Montreal recorded its 9th homicide

MONTREAL – A 23-year-old man was killed in an early morning shooting at a bar on the corner of Fairmount and Parc Saturday.

Montreal police responded to a call about gunshots at around 2:40 a.m.

At the scene, they found the 23-year-old man and a 21-year-old woman with multiple gunshot wounds to the upper body, said police spokesperson Manuel Couture.

They were both transported to the hospital, where the man’s death was confirmed.

A 25-year-old man was arrested at the scene and was being questioned by police.

Parc Avenue has been cordoned off between Fairmount and St-Viateur, as the major-crimes unit investigate the city’s 9th homicide of the year.

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Related

  • Teenager murdered in Montreal hotel

  • Woman dies after being shot in Lachine

  • Police confirm murder-suicide in Ville-Émard

Bombs kill 52 in Iraq’s capital as militants storm university – National

BAGHDAD – A series of car bombs exploded across Iraq’s capital Saturday night, killing at least 52 people in a day of violence that saw militants storm a university in the country’s restive Anbar province and take dozens hostage, authorities said.

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The attacks in Baghdad largely focused on Shiite neighbourhoods, underscoring the sectarian violence now striking at Iraq years after a similar wave nearly tore the country apart following the U.S.-led invasion that toppled Saddam Hussein. Now with U.S. troops gone, Iraq founds itself fighting on fronts across the country, as separate clashes in a northern city killed 21 police officers and 38 militants, officials said.

WATCH: Aftermath of deadly bombing in Iraq

The first Baghdad attack took place Saturday night in the capital’s western Baiyaa district, killing nine people and wounding 22, police said. Later on, seven car bombs in different parts of Baghdad killed at least 41 people and wounded 62, police said. A roadside bomb in western Baghdad also killed two people and wounded six, police said. All the attacks happened in a one-hour period and largely targeted commercial streets in Shiite neighbourhoods, authorities said.

Hospital officials confirmed the casualty figures. All officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to release details to journalists.

The day began with militants killing three police officers on guard at the gates of Anbar University, a police and a military official said. Islamic extremists and other anti-government militias have held parts of Anbar’s nearby provincial capital of Ramadi and the city of Fallujah since December amid rising tensions between Sunni Muslims and the Shiite-led government in Baghdad.

The gunmen detained dozens of students inside a university dorm during their attack, the officials said. Sabah Karhout, the head of Anbar’s provincial council, told journalists that hundreds of students were inside the university compound when the attack started at the school. Anbar University says it has more than 10,000 students, making it one of the country’s largest.

READ MORE: Iraqi PM’s bloc wins most parliamentary seats

Ahmed al-Mehamdi, a student who was taken hostage, said he awoke to the crackle of gunfire, looked out the window and saw armed men dressed in black running across the campus. Minutes later, the gunmen entered the dormitory and ordered everybody to stay in their rooms while taking others away, he said.

The Shiite students at the school were terrified, al-Mehamdi said, as the gunmen identified themselves as belonging to an al-Qaida splinter group known as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. The Sunni terror group, fighting in Syria with other rebels trying to topple President Bashar Assad, is known for massive, bloody attacks in Iraq as well often targeting Shiites that they view as heretics.

The Islamic State did not immediately claim the attack on the school.

Several hours later, gunmen left the university under unclear circumstances. Students then boarded buses provided by the local government to flee the school, though gunfire erupted as security forces attacked retreating militants, police said.

“We thank God that this crisis ended almost peacefully and no student was hurt as far as I know,” al-Mehamdi said.

Security officials said authorities wanted to wait for bomb disposal experts before entering any building on campus out of fears that the fleeing gunmen planted explosives. Government forces also came under sniper fire, officials said.

“Not a single student or a university staff member was hurt during the raid. All of them went home and their ordeal is over,” Karhout said.

Meanwhile in the northern city of Mosul, clashes continued Saturday for a second day between security forces and Sunni militants trying to seize neighbourhoods there. Police and morgue officials said that fighting since dawn Saturday killed 21 police officers and 38 militants.

Al-Qaida-linked fighters and their allies seized Fallujah and parts of Ramadi in late December after authorities dismantled a protest camp of Sunnis angry at what they consider their second-class treatment by the Shiite-led government. Fearful of setting off violence, security forces withdrew from the area, allowing militants to seize the cities. In April 2013, a similar dismantling of a Sunni protest camp in Hawija sparked violent clashes and set off the current upsurge in killing.

The government and its tribal allies are besieging the rebel-held areas, with fighting reported daily. Tens of thousands have fled the violence.

©2014The Canadian Press