Crisis In Iraq: Sunni Militants Capture 2 Towns North Of Baghdad - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Crisis In Iraq: Sunni Militants Capture 2 Towns North Of Baghdad

Posted: Updated:

BAGHDAD (AP) - Iraqi officials say al-Qaida-inspired militants who this week seized much of the country's Sunni heartland have pushed into an ethnically mixed province northeast of Baghdad, capturing two towns there.

Police officials said Friday that militants driving on machinegun-mounted pickups entered the towns of Jalula and Sadiyah in Diyala province on Thursday night. Jalula is 125 kilometers (80 miles) and Sadiyah is 95 kilometers (60 miles) from Baghdad.

The officials say Iraqi soldiers abandoned their posts there without any resistance. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk to media.

They also say Kurdish forces from northern Iraq entered Jalula to secure offices of Kurdish parties. No clashes were reported.

A representative for Iraq's top Shiite cleric has called on Iraqis to defend their country, saying those who are able should join the security forces to battle the militants.

Sheik Abdul-Mahdi al-Karbalaie made the comments during Friday prayers. He represents Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, the most revered Shiite spiritual leader in Iraq.

Al-Karbalaie says it is "a duty" that citizens defend against "the dangers threatening Iraq."

The U.N. refugee agency says Iraq's refugee population has increased by almost 800,000 this year as the government struggles against rebels and Islamic militants.

The agency says 300,000 people fled for safety this week in Erbil and Duhok as Islamic militants seize control of large areas in northern Iraq.

Agency spokesman Adrian Edwards told reporters Friday in Geneva that many of the refugees are arriving with little more than the clothes they wear and have no money and nowhere to go.

Last week, the agency reported that nearly 480,000 people had been driven from their homes by fighting since January between government forces and rebels in western Iraq's Anbar province.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Door-to-door solicitor uses racial slur against Spokane woman

    Door-to-door solicitor uses racial slur against Spokane woman

    Sunday, July 23 2017 9:39 PM EDT2017-07-24 01:39:10 GMT

    SPOKANE, Wash. - One Spokane couple is furious after they say someone who went door-to-door asking for donations used a racial slur against them. Roger and Christina Wink were at home when they heard a knock at the door. Christina answered, and a man described to be in his 20s said he was collecting money to send care packages to active military.

    >>

    SPOKANE, Wash. - One Spokane couple is furious after they say someone who went door-to-door asking for donations used a racial slur against them. Roger and Christina Wink were at home when they heard a knock at the door. Christina answered, and a man described to be in his 20s said he was collecting money to send care packages to active military.

    >>
  • Bissell fire continues to burn near Hunters in Stevens County

    Bissell fire continues to burn near Hunters in Stevens County

    Monday, July 24 2017 4:09 PM EDT2017-07-24 20:09:23 GMT

    STEVENS COUNTY, Wash. - Update 1 p.m.: About 200 firefighters from several agencies across the state continue to battle the Bissell fire Monday afternoon. The fire started around 7 p.m. Sunday about eight miles north of Hunters, Washington. Firefighters worked overnight, and no structures were lost and no injuries were reported. 

    >>

    STEVENS COUNTY, Wash. - Update 1 p.m.: About 200 firefighters from several agencies across the state continue to battle the Bissell fire Monday afternoon. The fire started around 7 p.m. Sunday about eight miles north of Hunters, Washington. Firefighters worked overnight, and no structures were lost and no injuries were reported.

    >>
  • Highway 95 reopens in Bonner County following crash

    Highway 95 reopens in Bonner County following crash

    Sunday, July 23 2017 9:31 PM EDT2017-07-24 01:31:27 GMT

    PONDERAY, Idaho - Bonner County Emergency Management reports a multi-vehicle crash closed Highway 95 in both direction Sunday afternoon. The Bonner County Sheriff's Office reports the highway is closed at milepost 490 near Elmira Road, about 11 miles north of Ponderay, while investigators gather evidence and interview witnesses.

    >>

    PONDERAY, Idaho - Bonner County Emergency Management reports a multi-vehicle crash closed Highway 95 in both direction Sunday afternoon. The Bonner County Sheriff's Office reports the highway is closed at milepost 490 near Elmira Road, about 11 miles north of Ponderay, while investigators gather evidence and interview witnesses.

    >>
HD DOPPLER 6i
/
  • Top Stories from KHQHomeMore>>

  • USGS reports small earthquake south of Chelan

    USGS reports small earthquake south of Chelan

    Monday, July 24 2017 4:37 PM EDT2017-07-24 20:37:34 GMT

    CHELAN, Wash. - The Washington Department of Emergency Management reports a small earthquake struck about 10 miles from Chelan, Washington Monday afternoon. The Pacific Northwest Seismic Network reports the quake happened just before 1 p.m. Monday and was a 3.3 magnitude quake. 

    >>

    CHELAN, Wash. - The Washington Department of Emergency Management reports a small earthquake struck about 10 miles from Chelan, Washington Monday afternoon. The Pacific Northwest Seismic Network reports the quake happened just before 1 p.m. Monday and was a 3.3 magnitude quake. 

    >>
  • Teenage driver livestreams part of deadly crash on Instagram; victim identified

    Teenage driver livestreams part of deadly crash on Instagram; victim identified

    Monday, July 24 2017 4:26 PM EDT2017-07-24 20:26:05 GMT

    MERCED, Calif. (AP) - Authorities have released the name of a California girl killed in a crash that occurred as her older sister was livestreaming while driving the car. Merced County Sheriff Vern Warnke identified the girl Monday as 14-year-old Jacqueline Sanchez of Stockton.      Authorities say she was ejected Friday...

    >>

    MERCED, Calif. (AP) - Authorities have released the name of a California girl killed in a crash that occurred as her older sister was livestreaming while driving the car. Merced County Sheriff Vern Warnke identified the girl Monday as 14-year-old Jacqueline Sanchez of Stockton.      Authorities say she was ejected Friday...

    >>
  • Bissell fire continues to burn near Hunters in Stevens County

    Bissell fire continues to burn near Hunters in Stevens County

    Monday, July 24 2017 4:09 PM EDT2017-07-24 20:09:23 GMT

    STEVENS COUNTY, Wash. - Update 1 p.m.: About 200 firefighters from several agencies across the state continue to battle the Bissell fire Monday afternoon. The fire started around 7 p.m. Sunday about eight miles north of Hunters, Washington. Firefighters worked overnight, and no structures were lost and no injuries were reported. 

    >>

    STEVENS COUNTY, Wash. - Update 1 p.m.: About 200 firefighters from several agencies across the state continue to battle the Bissell fire Monday afternoon. The fire started around 7 p.m. Sunday about eight miles north of Hunters, Washington. Firefighters worked overnight, and no structures were lost and no injuries were reported.

    >>