Militants from Islamic State have burned 45 people to death in the western Iraqi town of al-Baghdadi, according to the local police chief.

Col Qasim al-Obeidi said the motive was unknown but he believed some of the victims were members of the security forces.

He has pleaded for help from the government and international community and said the compound, which houses the families of security personnel and local officials, was now under attack.

It follows the capture of al-Baghdadi, near Ain al-Asad air base, by ISIS fighters last week.

The unconfirmed reports have haunting similarities to the video published earlier this month, showing militants burning alive a Jordanian air force pilot, whose plane crashed in Syria in December.

Al-Baghdadi had been besieged for months by Islamic State fighters before its fall. It had been one of the few towns to still be controlled by the Iraqi government in Anbar province, where IS and allied Sunni Arab tribesmen launched an offensive in January 2014.

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