Iraq’s most senior Shia cleric, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, has issued a call to arms while Sunni-led insurgents seize more towns.
The call by representative of Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, Sheik Abdul-Mahdi al-Karbalaie, came during Friday prayers, as the militants widened their grip in the north and east, and threatened to march south.
The UN says hundreds have been killed – with militants carrying out summary executions of civilians in Mosul.
Both the US and Iran have promised to help the fight against the insurgency.
Led by the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIS), the Sunni insurgents have threatened to push to the capital, Baghdad, and regions further south dominated by Iraq’s Shia Muslim majority, whom they regard as “infidels”.
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