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UN Security Council to discuss Iraq militant offensive

Published on Jun 12, 2014 8:41 AM

UNITED NTIONS, United States (AFP) - The UN Security Council will meet on Thursday to discuss Iraq in a sign of growing international alarm as an offensive by heavily armed jihadists sweeps closer to Baghdad.

Diplomats say the closed consultations will begin at 11.30am (1530 GMT) and will include a briefing by video link from the UN special representative to Iraq, Nickolay Mladenov.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon earlier urged the international community to unite behind Iraq as the country confronts the "serious security challenge."

Since the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) began its spectacular assault in Mosul late Monday, militants have captured a large swathe of northern and north-central Iraq, prompting as many as half a million people to flee their homes. The speed with which ISIL and its allies have advanced after their seizure on Tuesday of Mosul - a city of two million people - has sent alarm bells ringing in Western capitals.

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