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."
Ban also called for full respect for international humanitarian law and human rights law in efforts to counter terrorism and violence in Iraq.
Islamist insurgents in Iraq have seized the city of Tikrit, their second major gain after capturing Mosul Tuesday, reports said.
Tikrit, the hometown of former leader Saddam Hussein, lies 150 kilometers north of the capital Baghdad.
Mosul, a city in northern Iraq, is the capital of the Nineveh Province, some 400 kilometers northwest of Baghdad.
Islamic insurgents seized Mosul, Iraq's second largest city Tuesday following days of fighting against Iraqi government forces. As many as 500,000 people have reportedly fled Mosul in the wake of the violence. Terrorists on Wednesday also kidnapped the consul general of Turkey and several consulate staff working in the city.