Five areas of Kirkuk province have been seized by rebels, following earlier reports Tuesday that the al-Qaeda-linked Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant took control of Mosul, also in northern Iraq.
A police officer told Agence France-Presse that jihadists seized Hawijah, Zab, Riyadh, and Abbasi areas west of Kirkuk, and Rashad and Yankaja to its south.
Mosul, Iraq’s second largest city, is located in Nineveh province. Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki offered weapons and equipment to Iraqis who want to battle the Sunni insurgents who overtook Mosul. A United Nation's-affiliated group estimated that 500,000 people fled Mosul and surrounding areas since the weekend.