Fighters of the armed group Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) have taken control of Mosul, the second-largest city in Iraq.
The militants overran a military base and freed over a thousand prisoners, mostly Al Qaeda and ISIS operatives.
"We have lost Mosul this morning. Army and police forces left their positions and [ISIS] terrorists are in full control," said an army colonel at the local military command, according to The Guardian.
"It's a total collapse for the security forces."
Prmie Minister Nouri al-Maliki has declared a state of emergency, while thousands of Iraqis are fleeing to Kurdistan, in the north of Iraq.