Militants overrun parts of key Iraqi city of Mosul
Baghdad: Islamic militants overran parts of Iraq`s second-largest city of Mosul today, driving security forces from their posts and seizing the provincial government headquarters, security bases and other key buildings.
Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki pressed parliament to declare a state of emergency.
The fight for Mosul was a heavy defeat in Baghdad`s battle against a widening insurgency by a breakaway al-Qaida group, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, which has been trying, with some success, to seize territory both in Iraq and neighboring Syria.
Earlier this year, the group captured another Iraqi city, Fallujah, in the west of the country, and government forces have been unable to take it back after months of fighting.
The far larger Mosul is an even more strategic prize. The city and surrounding Ninevah province are a major export route for Iraqi oil and a gateway to Syria.
Regaining Mosul poses a daunting challenge for al-Maliki. The city has a Sunni Muslim majority and many in the community are already deeply embittered against his Shiite-led government.
During the nearly nine-year American presence in the country, Mosul was a major stronghold for al-Qaida and U.S. and Iraqi forces carried out repeated offensives there, regaining a semblance of control but never routing the insurgents entirely.
Islamic militants and Iraqi troops have been fighting for days in Mosul. But Monday night and into early Tuesday, the government forces in the city appeared to collapse.
Insurgents overran the Ninevah provincial government building in the city, a key symbol of state control, in the evening, and security forces fled many of their posts. The fighters stormed police stations, bases and prisons, capturing weapons and freeing prisoners.
Today, Mosul residents said the militants appeared to be in control of several parts of the city, raising the black banners that are the emblem of the Islamic State.
The residents spoke to The Associated Press by telephone on condition of anonymity, fearing for their safety.
In a nationally televised press conference today, al-Maliki asked parliament to declare a state of emergency, acknowledging that militants had taken control of "vital areas in Mosul."
He said the public and government must unite "to confront this vicious attack, which will spare no Iraqi."
More from India
More from World
More from Sports
More from Entertaiment
- Zee Media exclusive chat with 'Welcome to Karachi' cast
- Reservation issue: Police register case against Bainsla, 20 others
- Zee Media exclusive interview with Haryana CM Manohar Lal Khattar
- UP Minister allegedly threatens, abuses Gonda businessman
- Manali: Heavy corruption found in environmental taxes
- Five unmanned parachutes spotted over Mumbai airport
- UP: Jammu-bound Muri Express derails in Kaushambi
- Aapke Sitare: Astro prediction for May 24, 2015
- Watch: Fast N Facts @ 7:30pm
- One year of Modi govt: How satisfied is the common man?
- Jaipur girl Mini Rajpal wins Miss India Deaf 2015!
- Dawood's intercepted phone calls prove yet again he is in Pakistan
- Mumbai architecture creates double decker bus from scrap!
- One year of Modi govt: How satisfied is the common man? Part-2
- CBSE Board Class 12th Exam Results 2015 declared
- IPL 2015 Final: MI vs CSK - As it happened...
- CBSE.nic.in 12th XII Results 2015: CBSE Board (cbseresults.nic.in) Class 12th XII Exam Results 2015 to be announced on May 25
- Heatwave continues in North India; death toll in Andhra Pradesh, Telangana more than 400
- IPL 2015 final: Mumbai Indians thrash Chennai Super Kings by 41 runs to lift second title
- Heatwave claims over 550 lives so far, Delhi saw hottest day
- LIVE - Cbse.nic.in & cbseresults.nic.in Class 12th XII Results 2015: CBSE Board Class 12th XII Exam Results 2015 to be announced shortly
- Check cbseresults.nic.in for CBSE Class 12 result 2015
- Kejriwal completes 100 days in office, AAP says centre 'shadow boxing' over row with LG
- Cbse.nic.in & cbseresults.nic.in Class 12th XII Results 2015: CBSE Board Class 12th XII Exam Results 2015 declared
- Mathura rally: PM Modi slams 'corrupt' UPA regime, lauds NDA govt's efforts in past one year
- Two dead, over 100 injured as Muri Express derails in UP; Prabhu announces Rs 2 lakhs ex-gratia for kin of dead
- Online filing of applications for UPSC civil services exam begins
- CBSE Class 12 results out: Here's how you can check
- Not just today, Muslims feeling alienated since 1947: Najma Heptulla
- Pakistan criticizes Defence Minister Parrikar's terrorism remarks