Al Qaeda linked insurgents capture Iraq's second largest city
Tuesday, June 10, 2014 - 01:50
June 10 - Civilians and soldiers flee to Iraqi Kurdistan after a morning of heavy fighting between the military and insurgents in Iraq's second largest city of Mosul. Deborah Gembara reports.
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Iraq's second largest city is under fire.
The military battled insurgents in Mosul early on Tuesday but could be seen leaving the area later, reportedly on the order of higher-ups.
The group, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), an offshoot of al Qaeda, are now in charge.
Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri Al-Maliki declared a state of emergency.
SOUNDBITE: OSAMA AL-NUJAIFI, SPEAKER FOR IRAQ'S PARLIAMENT, SAYING:
"When battles intensified inside the city of Mosul, the (Iraqi) forces abandoned their weapons and the commanders fled, leaving behind weapons, armored vehicles. Their positions were easy prey for terrorists, even Mosul airport. Planes and command positions, all of them, have fallen in addition to weapons caches. Also prisons were stormed and criminals have been set free. What happened is a catastrophe by any measure."
Many soldiers and civilians fled to Iraqi Kurdistan.
Soldier, Mohamed Hadi, says he feels he had little choice but to leave after his commanders left.
The unrest is always making waves across the border.
Turkish drivers say they won't drive into certain parts of Iraq after 28 drivers were kidnapped.
SOUNDBITE: TURKISH TRUCK DRIVER RESIT ALCAKKAYA SAYING:
"I have always been afraid of going to Mosul. After this incident, I would never set foot there. We are really uneasy and we are really scared of these developments even though we are not going there."
The fall of Mosul deals a serious blow to Baghdad's efforts to fight Sunni militants and comes after days of fighting in the region.
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