Militants seize 48, including Turkish consul, children in Iraq's Mosul
11 June 2014, 19:49 -- Militants stormed the Turkish consulate in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul on Wednesday and kidnapped 48 people including the head of the diplomatic mission, a Turkish government official said. '48 Turks including the consul, staff members, guards and three children were abducted,' the official told AFP, speaking on condition of anonymity. 'All are doing well,' the official said. The kidnappings came a day after the Mosul consulate said fighters from the powerful jihadist group the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) seized 28 Turkish truck drivers.
In a spectacular blow to the Shiite-led government in Iraq, jihadists spearheaded by ISIL on Tuesday seized Mosul, its surrounding region of Nineveh and areas of Kirkuk and Salaheddin province.
The raid of the consulate by ISIL militants prompted the Turkish government to chair a crisis meeting.
Prime Minister Erdogan held an emergency meeting with Deputy Prime Minister Besir Atalay and the country's spy chief Hakan Fidan to discuss security measures and how to secure the release of those kidnapped, according to the official.
'We have information that the diplomats were taken to the ISIL headquarters in Mosul,' the official said.
Half a million residents flee from Iraq's Mosul captured by Islamists
About 500 thousand inhabitants of Mosul have been forced to leave the second largest city of Iraq due to its transfer under the control of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant grouping, BBC informs. Among people hurriedly leaving the city there are soldiers and officers of the Iraqi army, many of whom threw away their weapons and got dressed in civilian clothes.
It is also reported that the refugees are heading towards Kurdistan, where the local authorities have built camps for their temporary accommodation.
According to the reports, the Governor of the province of Nineveh, which is also controlled by the militants of the grouping, Atheel al-Nujaifi, accused Prime Minister of Iraq Nuri al-Maliki of not taking timely measures in order to prevent Mosul's transition under the control of the Islamists. According to him, the local authorities had warned the government about the dangerous situation in the region and recommended to take a number of measures.
Jihadists kidnap head of Turkish diplomatic mission, 24 staff members in Iraq's Mosul
Jihadists seized the Turkish consulate in the Iraqi city of Mosul on Wednesday and kidnapped the head of the diplomatic mission and 24 staff members, a police colonel said. 'ISIL members managed to kidnap the Turkish consul and 24 of his guards and assistants,' the officer said, referring to powerful jihadist group the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.
The colonel said he had spoken with one of the kidnappers, who said those held 'are safe with us,' and will be moved to a 'safer place'.
The kidnappings came a day after the Mosul consulate said ISIL fighters had seized 28 Turkish truck drivers.
In a spectacular blow to the Shiite-led government, jihadists spearheaded by ISIL on Tuesday seized Mosul, its surrounding region of Nineveh and areas of Kirkuk and Salaheddin province.
The takeover of Mosul prompted the United States to voice deep concern about the 'extremely serious' situation and warn that ISIL poses 'a threat to the entire region'.
ISIL is the most powerful militant group in Iraq, and a major force in the rebellion against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Turkish forces have targeted ISIL in Syria, and warned it against attacking a shrine in the northern province of Aleppo that is under Turkish jurisdiction.
Al Qaeda militants seize Turkish consulate in Iraq's Mosul - media
Militants have seized the Turkish consulate in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul and efforts are under way to ensure the safety of diplomatic staff, Reuters reports quoting two Turkish government sources. Sunni insurgents from an al-Qaeda splinter group, the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), seized Mosul on Tuesday in a show of strength against Iraq's Shi'ite-led government.
'Certain militant groups in Mosul have been directly contacted to ensure the safety of diplomatic staff,' a Turkish government source said, adding there was no immediate information on the status of the diplomats.
Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan held an emergency meeting with the Undersecretary of Turkey's National Intelligence Agency (MIT) and Deputy Prime Minister Besir Atalay to discuss the developments, Turkish media reported.
The seizure of the consulate comes a day after 28 Turkish truck drivers were abducted by ISIL militants while delivering diesel to a power plant in Mosul.
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