Turkish consulate in Iraq’s Mosul seized by ISIL

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Extremist militants have seized the Turkish consulate in northern Iraqi city of Mosul and efforts are under way to ensure the safety of diplomatic staff.

“Certain militant groups in Mosul have been directly contacted to ensure the safety of diplomatic staff,” a Turkish government source said, adding there was no immediate information on the status of the diplomats.

Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan held an emergency meeting with the Undersecretary of Turkey’s National Intelligence Agency (MIT) and Deputy Prime Minister Besir Atalay to discuss the developments, Turkish media reported.

Insurgents from an al Qaeda splinter group, the so-called Islamic State in Iraq and Levant (ISIL), seized Mosul on Tuesday, after which a state of emergency was declared throughout the country.

The seizure of the consulate comes a day after 28 Turkish truck drivers were abducted by ISIL militants while delivering diesel to a power plant in Mosul.

Iraq has been grappling with its worst surge in violence since the sectarian bloodletting of 2006 and 2007.

ISIL insurgents and their allies remain in control of Fallujah and other parts of Anbar province, which neighbors Ninevah province and like it shares a long and loosely controlled border with Syria.

The militants have also managed to launch frequent coordinated attacks in the capital, Baghdad, and in other parts of the country.

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