Militants from the so-called Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) have taken control of two areas in Diyala Province.
On Thursday, the militants managed to take control of Jalawi and Sa'adiyah villages, northwest of the Iraqi capital, Baghdad.
Earlier in the day, reports said that the Takfiri militants had seized the town of Dhuluiyah and the Muatassam area.
The seizures came after ISIL spokesman, Abu Mohammed al-Adnani, called on the militants to march on toward the country’s capital, Baghdad, and Karbala.
Iraqi forces are also continuing their battle against the militants in Salahuddin and Nineveh provinces, having managed to push the militants back in some areas.
The Kurdish Peshmerga forces have also said they are in control of the northern city of Kirkuk.
On June 10, Iraq’s northern Nineveh Province fell into the hands of the militants. The Takfiri attacks have reportedly forced more than half a million people in and around Nineveh’s provincial capital, Mosul, to flee their homes.
On June 11, Iraqi forces managed to regain control of the central city of Tikrit.
Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has pledged to take tough action against the al-Qaeda-linked militants, adding that Baghdad “will never permit Mosul and Nineveh to remain under the shadow of terror and the terrorists.” Maliki has also called the seizure of Mosul, Iraq’s second largest city, a “conspiracy.”
United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and the UN Security Council have also condemned the recent terrorist attacks in Mosul.
Takfiri groups are reportedly entering Iraq from neighboring Syria and Saudi Arabia to undermine security in the country.
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