Iraq Live Blog Live
Sunni fighters led by group known as the Islamic State have overrun large areas of western and northern Iraq. Follow Al Jazeera's live blog for the latest updates and information.
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This video, posted on Youtube, shows the destruction of the Younis Mosque in Mosul today, according to the author.
UN secretary general says an inclusive government is needed in Iraq:
"Iraq is facing an existential threat but it can be overcome by the formation of a thoroughly inclusive government."
Ban Ki-moon, UN secretary general, at a joint press conference with Iraq PM, Nouri al-Maliki.
Iraqi police say that at least 60 people have been killed in north of Baghdad after suicide bombers and gunmen attacked a bus transferring convicts and clashes erupted security forces.
The dead include prisoners and policemen, an official at the Interior Ministry told the AFP news agency.
Thursday's assault came a year almost to the day after an attack on two Iraqi prisons freed some 500 inmates.
UPDATE: Another car bomb has just exploded, this time in the Shia area of Kadhimiya. Three killed and 12 injured.
Total casualties so far: 15 dead and 50 injured.
According to Al Jazeera's producers in Baghdad, three car bombs have exploded in the city in the last hour. All targeted separate Shia areas.
In Dora, four were killed and 15 injured. In Baya, five were dead and 10 injured and in Jihad three were killed dead, and 13 injured.
These pictures, posted on an Twitter feed sympathetic to the Islamic State, shows Iraq Abrams tanks on fire after an attack in Iraq. The exact location of the attack is unknown, although it is believed to vbe somewhere in Anbar province.
The Kurdish-controlled region in northern Iraq is struggling to cope with a massive influx of displaced people after advances by fighters from the Islamic State group. Up to 1.2 million people have moved into the area in recent weeks. Al Jazeera's Zeina Khodr reports from the Khazer camp.
According to Fallujah's general hospital, 568 civilians have been killed in army shelling since military operations began early January of this year.
Another 1941 people were injured during the same period.
Indian workers caught up in fighting in Iraq arrived home, as many others are still being held captive by fighters of the Islamic State group (IS).
About 10,000 Indians work in Iraq, mostly in areas unaffected by the fighting, but scores of them have returned to India since IS began its offensive.
Nearly 50 Indian nurses were abducted by fighters in Iraq have been brought home. In addition to the nurses, 40 Indian construction workers are still in captivity.
Medical sources at Yarmouk hospital in central Baghdad say that 12 unidentified bodies were brought to the morgue by policemen.
The bodies were discovered this morning in several neighborhoods across the capital.
Some tweets from an Islamic State-affiliated account on the groups successful defence of Tikrit from an Iraqi army offensive.
Iraqi forces have withdrawn from the rebel-held northern Iraqi city of Tikrit after a new push to retake the city met heavy resistance, soldiers speaking to the Reuters news agency said.
Government troops and allied Shia volunteer fighters were forced to retreat just before sunset on Tuesday to a base four km south after coming under heavy mortar shelling and sniper fire, the sources said.
We'll have a full report soon.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is urging all countries to enforce an arms embargo, financial sanctions and travel bans against the Islamic State group.
Ban says in a report to the UN Security Council, obtained Tuesday by The Associated Press, that "terrorism must not be allowed to succeed in steering Iraq away from its path towards stability and democracy.''
The UN chief says reports of mass summary executions by the group are "extremely disturbing'' and the use of water as a weapon to cause deliberate flooding and force people to flee "presents a dangerous trend.''
Ban urged Iraq's leaders to unite behind a political process and form a new government "in the spirit of national unity and inclusiveness.''
Vice President Joe Biden is congratulating Iraq's new parliamentary speaker on his election and says he will work closely with him.
Biden spoke to Salim al-Jubouri on Tuesday, after Iraqi lawmakers broke their deadlock by electing him speaker.
It's the first step toward forming a new government as Iraq struggles to confront Sunni fighters.
The White House says Biden and al-Jubouri discussed the need for Iraq to move quickly to form a new government that can unite various sects and fight the Islamic State group.
Masoud Barzani, the leader of the Iraqi Kurdistan Region says he warned the Iraqi Prime Minister that Sunni Rebels were advancing.
But he told Al Jazeera that his offer to help was ignored.
Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb has rejected the declaration of an Islamist Caliphate in Iraq and Syria, saying it had "defects" that jihadist leaders should rectify, SITE Intelligence said Tuesday.
The group, in a message dated July 4, also reiterated allegiance to overall Al-Qaeda chief Ayman al- Zawahiri, whose leadership appears to have been challenged by the recently declared Islamic State, according to the US-based monitoring group.
It said there was still time "to rectify the defect in this announcement".
The Islamic State (IS) has been fighting in Syria and Iraq and on June 29 proclaimed a "caliphate" straddling both countries and headed by Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, who now calls himself Caliph Ibrahim.
IS fighters spearheaded a devastating military offensive by a coalition of Sunni armed groups that swept through large swathes of northern and western Iraq.
"Why today... do they make such an announcement without the advice of the leaders of the mujahedeen... (whose) efforts to establish the rightly guided Caliphate were proven?" the statement asked.
AQIM urged consultations among the leaders of various Al-Qaeda factions, including Zawahiri and Baghdadi, to "fix the defects inside the one house, away from the media".
"We confirm that we still adhere to our pledge of allegiance to our sheikh and emir, Ayman al-Zawahiri, since it is a sharia- (Islamic law) accorded pledge of allegiance," it said.
Zawahiri in the past ordered Baghdadi to confine the work of his group to Iraq only, and designated its rival Al-Nusra Front as Al-Qaeda's affiliate in Syria.
But Baghdadi has refused to budge.
Sunni politician Salim al-Jabouri has been elected Iraq's new speaker on, winning an absolute majority of votes from deputies.
Live television footage broadcast on state TV on Tuesday from inside the parliamentary chamber showed Jabouri being congratulated by other lawmakers.
The position of speaker is the first of three leadership posts which Iraq's divided Shia, Sunni and Kurdish politicians were seeking to agree, three months after a parliamentary election. [Reuters]
Iraqi state TV says it controls the entire city of Tikrit after an assault that began Tuesday morning.
Security forces launched an operation to take the city back from Sunni fighters two weeks ago and both sides have since claimed control over the town.
We'll have more soon...
Iraq's army launched an assault to try to retake the rebel-held northern Iraqi city of Tikrit, an officer and a soldier involved in the attack told the Reuters news agency.
The attempt to retake Tikrit, which fell on June 12 to Sunni rebels led by the Islamic State group, began two-and-a-half weeks ago. The army has been saying for two weeks that its forces are on the outskirts of the city. [Reuters]
Two car bombs in Baghdad kill six - police and medics
Two car bombs struck Baghdad, killing six people and wounding a dozen others, police and medical sources said.
The explosions on Monday occurred as the Shia-led government of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki battles Sunni armed groups who have taken over large parts of northern and western Iraq and threatened the capital.
The first bomb exploded in the central district of Alawi, killing three people and wounding six.
The second struck in the Shia western neighbourhood of Bayaa, also killing three people. [Reuters]
Amnesty International has published a report on sectarian killing by the Islamic State group and Iraqi government, after the former seized Mosul, and other parts of Iraq last month.
The case studies included in the report include the murder of a Shia teenager and his uncle after they were abducted by the Islamic State group at a checkpoint on June 20.
You can read the report here.
Christian communities, the Yazidis and the Shabak sects falling victims to ongoing violence in Iraq, according to columnist Ali Mamouri, of Al Monitor, a website on Middle East affairs.
Reports say that the parliament is adjourned until Tuesday, 15th of July.
An airport official in Erbil has told Al Jazeera that parliament members from the Kurdish region are stranded at the airport. The source said the MPs were unable to leave due to "bad weather" in the Iraqi capital Baghdad. The MPs are expected to leave in the afternoon, and head to the capital to attend a special session of parliament tasked on Sunday to form a new government that will run the country.
Reports say 28 people have been killed following a mortar attack in the eastern Iraq province of Diyala. According to sources, the victims were volunteers to the army in Hamreen dam. More details soon.
Here's Al Jazeera's roundup of the latest events in Iraq:
- Iraq is still without a government. But later on Sunday, members of the parliament will try again to begin the process of forming one, after failing to form one last month.
- Iraq's former foreign minister, Hoshyar Zebari, has asked Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki to apologise for saying the Kurdish authorities in the north were sheltering extremists.
- The oil minister of Iraq's Kurdish region says the area will generate enough oil revenue to be self-sufficient by the end of the year.
The US is apparently pleased with Iraq's pick for parliament speaker, Salim al-Juburi.
As we noted yesterday, questions have been raised about an audio clip purportedly released by Jabhat al-Nusra announcing the establishment of an Islamic emirate. Now, we get this news about a denial. Still, as Charles Lister, of Brookings Doha pointed out the group is still intent on its plan at a later time.
Gunmen have stormed a compound in the Iraqi capital and killed 25 women, police told the AFP news agency.
Iraqi forces beat back fresh assault on Haditha
Iraqi forces and tribal fighters have beaten back a fresh assault by Sunni fighters on the town of Haditha, strategic for the large nearby dam and its oil refinery, police say.
Battles also erupted Saturday in the central province of Diyala as security forces fought back against Islamic State group fighters who have seized large areas of territory and a string of towns and cities in an offensive launched on June 9.
The violence comes a day before Iraq's deeply-divided politicians are to hold a parliament session aimed at reviving flagging efforts to form a government in the face of the onslaught.
The attack on Haditha, located northwest of Baghdad in Anbar province on the road linking Islamic State-held Western areas and the provincial capital, began with mortar fire, police said.
Gunmen travelling in vehicles, including some captured from security forces, then attacked from two sides but were kept from entering the town in fighting that left 13 rebel fighters and four police dead, officers and a doctor said.
While there have been previous attacks on Haditha, they have not been on this scale. Capture of the dam by the rebels would raise the prospect of it being used to flood towns and villages downstream.
The Sunni fighters earlier this year caused major flooding by releasing water from another dam in Anbar province.
An eyewitness account on the Islamic State from Anbar province, from Al Jazeera's Imran Khan:
"When The Islamic State came we welcomed them. But now we want the army to come. The Islamic State raided the house of a former Member of Parliament, Wosam Aker al Rawi.
"She was in her house in Rawa. The Islamic State soldier tried to take her. Her family, some people from the town and the mosque elders managed to stop them, But still the Islamic State took her two brothers and confiscated 3kg of gold and a large amount of money.
"A day later they freed them but only after they flogged them. They kept the gold and money. They have arrested and flogged others and they do this daily. They have set up a sharia court and they flog people without mercy."
- Name withheld for security reasons
Human Rights Watch says 255 Sunni prisoners were killed as Shia militia and Iraqi troops fled Islamic State group.
Erin Evers, HRW researcher and one of the authors of the report, talks to Al Jazeera's Jane Dutton about the continuing sectarian strife in Iraq.
James F. Jeffrey, former US ambassador to Iraq from 2010 to 2012, and visiting fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, shares his thoughts about his experience dealing with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki. He said that while he is "deeply skeptical" about Maliki's ability to lead Iraq, it is not the United States' job to tell Iraq who its leaders should be.
But the remedy is not to use our soldiers to dictate constitutional and parliamentary outcomes, thus challenging the very constitutional order we fought so hard to establish.
Read Jeffrey's Washington Post op-ed HERE.