Mosul battle: IS launches Iraq counter-attack at KirkukIslamic State (IS) militants have mounted a ferocious counter-attack in north Iraq, killing at least 19 people in and around the city of Kirkuk.
Islamic State (IS) militants have mounted a ferocious counter-attack in north Iraq, killing at least 19 people in and around the city of Kirkuk.
They attacked government buildings, killing at least six police officers, and a power station under construction, where 13 employees died, officials say.
Twelve IS fighters also reportedly died and fighting seems to be continuing.
Government and Kurdish forces began a long-awaited operation against the IS capital in Iraq, Mosul, on Monday.
Mosul lies 170km (105 miles) to the north-east of Kirkuk, a multi-ethnic city claimed both by Iraq's central government and the Kurds.
Government forces said on Friday they had regained control of a further two villages - al-Awaizat and Nanaha - south of Mosul, evacuating 65 displaced families and killing 15 IS militants.
Hours after the initial assault, witnesses in Kirkuk said gunfire could still be heard and militants were walking openly through the streets. Initial reports suggested as many as 16 civilians had been killed.