ANKARA, June 11 (Xinhua) -- Militants kidnapped 49 personnel when seizing the Turkish consulate general in northern Iraqi city of Mosul, capital of Nineveh province, according to a Turkish official statement released on Wednesday.
The statement said a group of armed attackers of the Islamic State in Iraq and Levant (ISIL) took control of the consulate, and kidnapped 49 staff and family members, including the consul general, the Turkish foreign ministry said in its statement.
The ministry also said Ankara has been mobilizing all of its means to ensure the safe return of the kidnapped.
Meanwhile, 31 Turkish nationals were taken hostage by the same militant group in a power plant in the Gyarah region of Mosul, said the statement, adding that rescue efforts are currently underway.
Turkey strongly condemned the kidnapping of its diplomatic mission and citizens, said the statement, adding that it demands the immediate release of its consular staff and citizens.
The ISIL, commonly known as al-Qaida in Iraq, seized Mosul, Iraq's second largest city, and Tikrit, another provincial capital, respectively on Tuesday and Wednesday in its renewed clashes with government forces.
The continued bloody clashes between the insurgents and government security forces has shown that the country's security situation is further worsening.
Nineveh is a Sunni-majority province and its capital Mosul has long been a stronghold for insurgent groups since the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in 2003.
BAGHDAD, June 11 (Xinhua) -- Militants seized the Turkish consulate and arrested the consul and diplomatic staff in northern Iraqi city of Mosul, the capital of Nineveh province, an official Kurdish website reported on Wednesday.
Terrorists of Islamic State in Iraq and Levant (ISIL) have taken control of the consulate and seized the consul and a number of consulate staff and guards, according to the official website of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, a major Kurdish party headed by Iraqi President Jalal Talabani. Full story
UNITED NATIONS, June 11 (Xinhua) -- UN Secretary-General Ban Ki- moon on Wednesday strongly condemned the violence upsurge at the hands of terrorist groups in Iraq and urged the international community to "unite in showing solidarity" with the Middle East nation as it copes with this serious security challenge.
"The secretary-general strongly condemns the upsurge in violence in Iraq at the hands of terrorist groups including the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), which have reportedly taken control of the cities of Mosul, Tuz Khourmatu, Beiji and Tikrit," said a statement issued here by Ban's spokesman. " Terrorism must not be allowed to succeed in undoing the path towards democracy in Iraq as determined by the will of the Iraqi people." Full story