Iraqi police along with army forces have abandoned their posts in Mosul a city in northern Iraq after militants took control of the headquarters of the provincial government and other important public buildings.
That dealt a serious blow to efforts of Baghdad to control an increasing insurgency across the country, said residents and a provisional official on Tuesday.
The insurgent militants seized the complex of government buildings, which is an important symbol of local authority, late Monday, after days of intense fighting in the second largest Iraqi city and a former stronghold for al-Qaeda situated in what has for many years been one of Iraq’s more restive parts.
The gunmen burned several of the police stations in Mosul freeing the detainees in each.
The militants are thought to be from a group that has an affiliation with the al-Qaeda linked Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. The splinter group has been behind the majority of the bloody attacks taking place in Iraq.
It is among the most ruthless of all rebel forces that continues to wage war in an attempt to topple Bashar al-Assad the embattled President of neighboring Syria.
The same group is trying to put itself in the position of champion for the large and disaffected Iraq Sunni minority.
Several worried residents of Mosul reported gunmen hoisting black flags with inscriptions used by al-Qaeda, ISIL and other groups.
As militants worked consolidating their control in Mosul, a huge blast struck the site of a funeral in Baqouba a city in central Iraq, which is located north of Baghdad.
Baqouba was once a flashpoint between U.S. forces and insurgents and is home to both Shiites and Sunnis.
The explosion said police targeted the mourners of a university professor who was a Sunni and killed the day before. The blast killed 15 people or more and wounded more than two dozen others.
Insurgents in Mosul were in control of a number of parts in the city said residents.
Detainees that had been let go from the different police stations in Mosul could be seen running throughout the city streets wearing yellow jumpsuits.