Islamic State seizes key road in northern Iraq after surprise attack

Islamic State jihadists Thursday seized a major road in northern Iraq after a surprise attack on government troops, a security official said.

Militants took control of the road linking the Kurd-controlled city of Kirkuk and the city of Tikrit that was regained by Iraqi forces from Islamic State in April, the official said on condition of anonymity.

"Clashes are continuing between Iraqi forces and Daesh elements," the official said, using an Arabic acronym for Islamic State. "Iraqi warplanes are bombing the group's positions in the area."

At least 12 militants and seven Iraqi soldiers were killed, he said.

Mosques in the district of al-Alam, about 20 kilometres from the site of the fighting, have called on civilians to carry weapons in anticipation of the militants' advance, residents said.

Last month, the Iraqi government announced the "liberation" of the western city of Ramadi from Islamic State, marking the first major setback for the al-Qaeda breakaway group since April.

Since Ramadi's recapture, Islamic State has carried out a series of attacks in several parts of Iraq where it still controls swathes of territory. 

Last update: Thu, 14/01/2016 - 12:01
Author: 

More from World

Trudeau faces ethics probe over vacation on Aga Khan's private island

Canada's ethics watchdog is investigating whether Prime Minister Justin Trudeau violated his own conflict of...

King's son visits Trump after his sharp words with civil rights icon

President-elect Donald Trump met Monday with the son of slain civil rights leader Reverend Martin Luther King to...

Eight Egyptian police killed in attack on desert checkpoint

Eight Egyptian policemen were killed and three others wounded in an attack by gunmen Monday on a checkpoint in the...

Last man on the moon, US astronaut Gene Cernan, dies

The US astronaut Gene Cernan, the last astronaut to leave footprints on the moon, has died at the age of 82, the US...

Plague kills at least 27 in Madagascar

At least 27 people in southern Madagascar have died from the plague, health authorities on the island said Monday....