Iraq crisis: Video shows Kurdish TV reporter confront Islamic State militants

"We are here to interview anyone of them but they are refusing to talk," he says of the extremist fighters

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The Independent Online

A reporter from a Kurdish TV station has been filmed bravely attempting to confront men who appear to be members of the Islamic State militant group (IS), formerly Isis, near the northern Iraqi town of Kirkuk.

Hunar Ahmad, a broadcast journalist from the independent Rudaw media network, walks to the middle of a bridge which marks the point of separation between the extremist militant stronghold, and an area controlled by Kurdish Peshmerga forces.

"Speak Arabic if you can," one Peshmerga soldier advises Ahmad as he walks towards the fighters.

"We are here close to IS militias at Merriam-Beg, they have made here the border," the reporter says to the camera.

"We are here to interview anyone of them but they are refusing to talk."

As he approaches the notorious group, Ahmad raises his hands to show he is unarmed.

“We repeatedly tried to talk to the IS militias, but they are busy strengthening their frontlines right here,” he adds, returning to his broadcast.

In what appears to be an attempt to prevent a vehicular attack, militants operating behind a black and white IS flag dump soil across the entrance to the bridge with an earthmoving loader, Sky News reported.

At least 10 militants can be seen walking around the defensive position, which is described as being west of Kirkuk near Rashad, as the reporter attempts to make contact.

"We tried to reach them but they are warning me not to get any closer," Ahmad says in the footage.

"From here to the middle belongs to Peshmerga forces and the rest belongs to them."

Since June, the militants rejected by al-Qa'ida for being too extreme have taken over several cities in Iraq. Around a quarter of a million Iraqis from religious minorities have already fled their homes in the face of "convert or die" ultimatums from the advancing fighters, according to a UN report.

In response, the US has launched airstrikes in the region, which the Pentagon said has slowed the advance of IS. Meanwhile, Britain is edging closer to direct military action in northern Iraq with the Government announcing that Tornado fighters will take to the skies over the country for the first time since 2003.