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(Reuters) - Islamist militants stormed police stations in several cities of Iraq's western province of Anbar on Wednesday, seizing weapon caches and freeing prisoners after security forces dismantled a Sunni Muslim protest camp on Monday.The attacks on three police stations in Falluja, Ramadi and Tarmiya represent a serious escalation in the confrontation between Iraqi Sunni groups and the Shi'ite-led government of Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki.Sunni anger at the government's crushing of a protest movement has inflamed Iraq's already deeply rooted sectarian tensions. The camp dismantled on Monday has been seen as an irritant to Maliki since it was set up to protest against perceived Sunni marginalization a year ago."Gunmen in large numbers surrounded the three police stations in Falluja and forced all policemen to leave without their weapons if they wanted to spare their lives. All of us left, we didn't want to die for nothing," a policeman stationed at one of the three stations told Reuters.The gunmen then took control of a local government building nearby, deploying snipers on its roof to prevent the security forces from retaking command of the police stations in Falluja, 50 kilometers west of Baghdad