Iraqi immigrants fear for lives of loved ones

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SAN DIEGO (AP) — Many Iraqi immigrants in the United States who risked their lives to escape the country's past wars fear they may never hear from those they left behind now that violence is sweeping their homeland again.

The unrest is hitting the close-knit immigrant communities hard.

Thousands have attended both Muslim and Christian prayer services in states with large Iraqi immigrant communities ever since Sunni militants seized territory in Iraq more than a week ago.

Leaders from the U.S. Iraqi communities, meanwhile, are lobbying Washington to take action. Most do not support sending back American troops but instead favor drone strikes, releasing aid and setting up a safe passage for Iraqis wanting to escape but who face a tougher time fleeing because of unrest in Syria.

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