60 IS militants killed in Iraq’s Mosul

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Baghdad, April 18 (IANS) Iraqi troops killed 60 Islamic State (IS) militants in Mosul, including a commander, a senior official said on Tuesday.

Police forces, backed by Iraqi warplanes and artillery fire, were making progress in combating extremists in the al-Farouk area and in the vicinity of al-Nuri mosque in Mosul, Efe news reported.

This mosque is a prime target for the government forces for its symbolic value as it is the site where IS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi proclaimed the caliphate on June 29, 2014.

During the last hours of fighting, the police destroyed five armoured vehicles, eight motorcycles loaded with bombs, six anti-aircraft batteries and dismantled three bombs placed in buildings.

The offensive against IS in Nineveh province began six months ago and has been stagnant for a month in an attempt to access the old town of Mosul.

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Iraqi forces ended the offensive in the eastern half of Mosul in January, and in February began the assault on the neighbourhoods west of the river Tigris.



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