Security forces battle militants in Iraq’s Tikrit: officials
Iraqi families fleeing violence in the northern Nineveh province gather at a Kurdish checkpoint in Aski Kalak - AFP/Safin Hamed

SAMARRA, Iraq: Militants battled Iraqi security forces in the central city of Tikrit on Wednesday after jihadists seized a swathe of the north, including second city Mosul, officials said.

Heavy clashes rocked the north of the city, hometown of now executed dictator Saddam Hussein, a provincial councilor said.

Dozens of militants were also fighting security forces near the headquarters of the Salaheddin provincial government in the city center, a municipal council member said.

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