Iraqi officials say al-Qaida-inspired militants who this week seized much of the country's Sunni heartland have pushed into an ethnically mixed province northeast of Baghdad, capturing two towns there.
Police officials said Friday that militants driving on machinegun-mounted pickups entered the towns of Jalula and Sadiyah in Diyala province on Thursday night. Jalula is 125 kilometers (80 miles) and Sadiyah is 95 kilometers (60 miles) from Baghdad.
The officials say Iraqi soldiers abandoned their posts there without any resistance. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk to media.
They also say Kurdish forces from northern Iraq entered Jalula to secure offices of Kurdish parties. No clashes were reported.