Nineveh (IraqiNews.com) Unknown individuals attacked a vehicle driven by Islamic State militants in western Mosul and killed all on board, an Iraqi security official said Monday.
Anadolu Agency quoted Cap. Abdul-Karim al-Lami, from the Interior Ministry’s intelligence unit, saying the attackers shot at the militants’ pickup truck in al-Najjar area, killing all on board and setting fire to the vehicle before fleeing away.
According to Lami, Islamic State members, boarding more than 12 vehicles, arrived to the scene of the attack, cordoning the area off and carrying the corpses away. He added that the militants searched civilians’ homes and arrested 32 young men, taking them to an unknown destination.
Iraqi government troops launched a major offensive in February to retake western Mosul from Islamic State militants. The troops recaptured the eastern side of IS’s largest stronghold in Iraq in January.
Federal Police chief, Lt. Gen. Shaker Jawdat, said in statements on Monday that his forces, fighting militants in western Mosul’s densely-populated and-structured Old City, was relying on drones as well as “internal revolutionary detachments” to “hunt Daesh(Islamic State) militants and destroy its defenses without causing harm to civilians or public and private property.”
Since operations launched in October 2016 to retake Mosul, occasional news reports spoke about attacks and assassinations of IS members by unknown assailants at areas under the extremist group’s control, arousing doubts about whether some indignant civilians started to voluntarily take arms against militants.