KIRKUK, Iraq, June 10 (Xinhua) -- Armed militant groups on Tuesday took control of more towns in Iraq's oil-rich province of Kikruk after they seized the country's second largest city of Mosul, the capital of Nineveh province, a provincial police source said on Tuesday.
Hundreds of gunmen stormed the predominantly Arab towns of Hawijah, Zab, Riyadh, Abbasi and Rashad in south and west of the city of Kikruk, some 250 km north of Baghdad, the source told Xinhua on condition of anonymity.
The militants seized the towns without resistance by the Iraqi security forces, the source said, adding that the soldiers and policemen withdrew before the arrival of the militant groups.
The fall of the towns came despite a decision taken earlier in the day by the provincial authorities to tighten security measures across the province after the gunmen seized the city of Mosul.
Earlier in the day, insurgent groups took full control of the city of Mosul, some 400 km north of Baghdad, and expanded later to other areas after the Iraqi security forces withdrew from the city.
UNITED NATIONS, June 10 (Xinhua) -- UN Secretary-General Ban Ki- moon on Tuesday voiced his grave concern about worsening security in northern Iraq and condemned terrorist attacks in other parts of the Middle East country.
"The secretary-general is gravely concerned by the serious deterioration of the security situation in Mosul, where thousands of civilians have been displaced in the recent violence," said a statement issued here by Ban's spokesman. Full Story
WASHINGTON, June 10 (Xinhua) -- The United States condemns "in the strongest possible terms" the aggression by Islamic militants in the Iraqi city of Mosul, the White House said on Tuesday.
The attack by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) has led to a serious deterioration of the security situation in Mosul and surrounding Nineveh province, said White House spokesman Josh Earnest. Full Story