Militants overrun parts of key Iraqi city of Mosul

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Associated Press

Posted on June 10, 2014 at 2:33 PM

Updated Tuesday, Jun 10 at 2:35 PM

BAGHDAD (AP) — Islamic militants are now in control of much of the Iraqi city of Mosul -- the country's second-biggest city.

They seized the governor's headquarters today, and rampaged through police stations, military bases and the airports. Security forces, meanwhile, abandoned their posts.

Gunmen have been cruising through neighborhoods, waving black banners, as residents fled.

It's a heavy defeat for Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki (NOO'-ree ahl-MAHL'-ih-kee), who has been facing a widening insurgency by a breakaway al-Qaida group. The group has been advancing in both Iraq and neighboring Syria. It's been capturing territory in what appears to be a campaign to set up a militant enclave that straddles the border.

Earlier this year, the group took control over another Iraqi city, Fallujah. Government forces have been unable to take it back.

Al-Maliki today pressed parliament for a state of emergency that would give him greater powers. He says the public and the government have united to confront what he calls a "vicious attack."

He's facing a daunting challenge in trying to regain control of Mosul. The city has a Sunni Muslim majority, and many of the people there are already opposed to his Shiite-led government. During the nearly nine-year U.S. presence in Iraq, Mosul was a major stronghold for al-Qaida.

%@AP Links

175-r-08-(Sound of Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki (NOO'-ree ahl-MAHL'-ih-kee) speaking in Arabic, with reporters)--This is sound of Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki speaking in Arabic and calling "upon the parliament to live up to its responsibility to declare a state of emergency and general mobilization." (10 Jun 2014)

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154-r-07-(Sound of a burst of rapid-fire weaponry, from video shot by a member of the Iraqi military that was obtained by AP)--This is sound of a burst of gunfire from an Iraqi military vehicle during an attack by gunmen on government buildings in Mosul. (10 Jun 2014)

<<CUT *154 (06/10/14)££ 00:07

APPHOTO BAG109: Refugees fleeing from Mosul head to the self-ruled northern Kurdish region in Irbil, Iraq, 350 kilometers (217 miles) north of Baghdad, Tuesday, June 10, 2014. Islamic militants overran parts of Iraq's second-largest city of Mosul on Tuesday, 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. (AP Photo) (10 Jun 2014)

<<APPHOTO BAG109 (06/10/14)££

APPHOTO BAG107: Refugees fleeing from Mosul head to the self-ruled northern Kurdish region in Irbil, Iraq, 350 kilometers (217 miles) north of Baghdad, Tuesday, June 10, 2014. Islamic militants overran parts of Iraq's second-largest city of Mosul on Tuesday, 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. (AP Photo) (10 Jun 2014)

<<APPHOTO BAG107 (06/10/14)££

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