Iraqi forces repel 4 IS attacks in Mosul, killing 174 extremist militants

Source:Xinhua Published: 2016/12/17 8:28:32

Iraqi security forces on Friday repelled four counter attacks by the Islamic State (IS) group militants in the battle ground city of Mosul, killing a total of 174 IS militants and destroying 13 suicide car bombs, the Iraqi army said.

The commandos of the Counter-Terrorism Service (CTS) repelled suicide car bomb attacks and dozens of IS militants on the recently-freed neighborhoods of al-Ta'mim, al-Nour and al-Bakr in eastern Mosul after heavy clashes, killing some 100 militants and destroying five suicide car bombs, a statement by the Iraqi Joint Operations Command said.

So far, the elite CTS retook control of 40 districts in eastern Mosul, after nearly seven weeks of street-to-street battles inside the city, according to the statement.

The army's 9th armored division repelled another attack and IS militants on the neighborhoods of al-Intisar and al-Salam in southeastern Mosul, killing some 27 militants and destroying three suicide car bombs, the statement said.

The troops are facing grueling fighting inside Mosul from the extremist militants, who are carrying out brutal counter attacks in small groups moving quickly throughout the districts, and using suicide car bombs, as well as mortars and snipers, in addition to using the population of the city as human shields.

Dozens more of IS militants attacked the positions of the army's 16th infantry division in Ba'wieza village at the northern edge of Mosul, but the troops fought them back and foiled their attack after killing 25 extremist militants and destroying two suicide car bombs, it said.

The federal police forces repelled a fourth attack by IS militants and suicide car bombs on the troops' positions at the two villages of al-Ereij and al-Adhbah, just southwest of Mosul, leaving 22 militants killed and destroying two suicide car bombs and a suicide bulldozer bomb, the statement added.

Earlier on Friday, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees issued a report saying that 96,864 men, women, and children have fled their homes in Mosul and its adjacent districts since the beginning of military offensive in October to reclaim the IS largest stronghold in Iraq. The number of displaced people in and near Mosul is rising everyday.

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi on Oct. 17 announced a major offensive to retake Mosul, the country's second largest city.

Since then, the Iraqi security forces, backed by international coalition forces, have inched to the eastern fringes of Mosul and made progress on other routes around the city.

Mosul, some 400 km north of the Iraqi capital of Baghdad, has been under the IS control since June 2014, when Iraqi government forces abandoned their weapons and fled, enabling IS militants to take control of parts of Iraq's northern and western regions.

Posted in: MID-EAST

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