Iraq remains tense as militants continue march - 13 WTHR Indianapolis

Iraq remains tense as militants continue march

Updated:
BAGHDAD, Iraq -

Baghdad was tense Monday as ISIS militants continued to make gains in Iraq.

The militants have been tightening their grip on northern Iraq and have promised to move on the capital. Iraq's most senior Shiite cleric has called on his followers to take up arms against the militants.

Truck loads of volunteers set off Monday from a military camp near Baghdad to join the country's security forces against ISIS.

Armed tribesmen also marched in Baghdad Sunday to show their loyalty to Iraq's Shiite government and their willingness to fight against the Sunni militants.

An Iraqi brigadier general refuted claims from the militants that they have killed 1,700 government soldiers.

Graphic photos were posted online over the weekend that appeared to show gunmen killing dozens of Iraqi troops. The Iraqi military authenticated the photos, but said approximately 170 soldiers were killed, not the 1,700 the militants claimed.

Two amateur videos emerged Monday that purported to show militants questioning captured men at gunpoint. The clips show at least five men, some in military uniform, with their hands tied behind their back. One has a rifle held to his throat. The second video shows one of the prisoners dead on the ground with a gunshot wound to the head.

NBC News can't independently verify the authenticity of the videos.

Iraq's defense ministry has released video of Iraqi Air Force air strikes against the ISIS militants. Air strikes have been reported in Mosul, Samarra and Salahaddin.

The prime minister of Iraq's autonomous Kurdistan is meeting with Iranian officials to discuss the developments in Iraq. His visit comes after Iran's president pledged assistance to Iraq's government.

In Turkey, NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen condemned the militant attack on the Turkish consulate in Mosul and called for the release of Turkish hostages.

An official with the Turkish prime minister's office says about 80 Turkish citizens are being held by ISIS.

"We follow the dangerous developments in Iraq with grave concern. I condemn the unacceptable attack on the Turkish consulate general in Mosul and I call for the immediate release of Turkey's kidnapped diplomatic and security personnel. We want to see all the Turkish hostages released and we want to see them safe. Nothing can justify this criminal act and we will continue to consult with our ally Turkey," said Rasmussen.

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