Saturday, Oct 25, 2014

Militants take Saddam Hussein’s hometown of Tikrit: Iraqi officials

iraq-m Iraqi refugees flee the town of Mosul after Islamist militants took over.
Associated Press | Baghdad | Posted: June 11, 2014 8:38 pm | Updated: June 11, 2014 10:06 pm

mortal threat” facing Iraq.

Speaking on the sidelines of a diplomatic meeting in Athens, he said Iraqi troops and forces belonging to the Kurdish region’s government could work together to push the insurgents out.

“We can push back on the terrorists … and there would be a closer cooperation between Baghdad and the Kurdistan Regional Government to work together and try to flush out these foreign fighters,” he said.

Mosul residents reached Wednesday said gunmen went around knocking on their doors, reassuring locals they would not be harmed and urging civil servants to return to work. The situation appeared calm but tense, said the residents, who spoke on condition of anonymity out of concerns for their safety.

In an eastern section of the city, 34-year-old Ali Sameer said mosques in his neighborhood were calling on people to return to work, especially those in public services.

Mosul’s fall was a heavy defeat for al-Maliki amid a widening insurgency by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. The group has been advancing in both Iraq and neighboring Syria, capturing territory in a campaign to set up a militant enclave straddling the border.

Al-Maliki has pressed parliament to declare a state of emergency over the Mosul attack.

Echoing al-Maliki, Ninevah governor al-Nujaifi accused senior security force commanders of providing Baghdad with false information about the situation in Mosul and demanded they stand trial.

Speaking from the northern Kurdish city of Irbil where he took refuge, he said smaller armed groups had joined the Islamic State during the fight for control of the city.

Violence raged elsewhere in Iraq too on Wednesday.

Police and hospital officials said a suicide bomber set off his explosive belt inside a tent where tribesmen were meeting to solve a tribal dispute in Baghdad’s Shiite Sadr City neighborhood, killing 24 and wounding 41.

A car bomb struck Shiite pilgrims heading to the holy city of Karbala, killing four people and wounding 10, and another killed three people and wounded 12 in a town just south of Baghdad. All officials discussed the attacks on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the media.

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