Iraq’s prime minister has asked parliament to declare a state of emergency, after Islamist militants effectively took control of Mosul, the BBC reported.
Nouri Maliki acknowledged “vital areas” of the northern city had been seized.
Overnight, hundreds of men armed with rocket-propelled grenades and machine-guns seized the Nineveh provincial government’s offices in Mosul.
They also destroyed several police stations before overrunning the airport and army’s operations headquarters.
Elsewhere, a double bomb attack in the central town of Baqouba killed at least 20 people, police and medics said. The blasts, targeting a funeral procession in the capital of Diyala province, also wounded 28 people.
In the past week, the jihadist Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) and its allies have carried out major attacks on cities and towns in western and northern Iraq, killing scores of people.