London: The Sunni-led Islamist militants in Iraq have reportedly seized two new towns after threatening to take over Baghdad, in an attempt to expand their control across the country.
The militants advanced into Saadiya and Jalawla in Diyala province and surrounding areas as security forces abandoned their posts, the BBC reports.
According to the UN, the militants carried out summary executions of civilians and Iraqi soldiers in Mosul, including 17 civilians killed in one street, the report said.
Earlier, US President Barack Obama said that the White House was considering all options, including military action to help Iraq fight the Islamist militants.
However, he ruled out any intention of sending ground troops to the conflict prone nation.
The report further said that hundreds were being evacuated from Balad air base to Baghdad.