MOSUL, Iraq, June 7 (Xinhua) -- The bodies of 21 policemen were found executed by militants in Iraq's northern city of Mosul, capital of Nineveh province, as fierce battles continue into the second day, a provincial police source said on Saturday.
"The police found the bodies of 19 policemen and two officers who were kidnapped yesterday dumped in executing-style in 17th July neighborhood in western Mosul," the source told Xinhua on condition of anonymity.
On Friday, dozens of militants took control of several neighborhoods in western Mosul and fought fierce clashes with the Iraqi forces. Friday's battles resulted in the killing of up to 35 security members, five civilians and 30 militants, while 42 security members and 15 civilians were wounded.
Nineveh's Operations Command in a statement ordered residents of the western neighborhoods in Mosul to stay at homes as the helicopter gunships started airstrikes on positions of Militant groups believed to do with the Islamic State in Iraq and Levant, an al-Qaida breakaway group in Iraq.
Top Iraqi military officers arrived in Mosul in the morning to command the battles against the militants, the source said.
Meanwhile, dozens of families left their homes from the western Mosul to safer neighborhoods because of the bombardments and battles, in addition to the cut of the electricity and water supplies, the source added.
Iraq is witnessing some of its worst violence in recent years. According to the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq, a total of 8,868 Iraqis, including 7,818 civilians and civilian police personnel, were killed in 2013, the highest annual death toll in years.
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