Mosul (IraqiNews.com) A few dozen Islamic State militants are targeting Iraqi forces with suicide attacks in western Mosul’s Old City area even after the government officially declared victory over the militant group earlier this month, a newspaper reports.
London-based AlQuds Alarabi said Thursday that the sounds of explosions and fire exchanges were still being heard at the streets and alleyways of the medieval district that witnessed the declaration of the group’s rule in 2014.
It quoted a lieutenant in the Iraqi Federal Police, who asked not to be named, saying that the group has retuned back to action in the Old City, fighting government troops with suicide bombings in defense of its last pockets. He said the situation prompted field leaders to ask the government for reinforcements.
“There are nearly 150 suicide fighters, including women, who are still trapped in the alleyways of the Old City, with no other option but to die,” said the officer. “Those had sneaked in from the Tigris River, and have launched quick and organized attacks against the Iraqi army and police troops”.
According to the police source, eliminating those last few fighters was “a matter of time”, adding that they have become under a full siege, denied supplies, and are told through loudspeakers to choose between surrendering or dying.
On Wednesday, Khamis al-Jubouri, a Federal Police officer, was quoted saying that IS suicide bombers killed three soldiers while troops were combing Qleyat neighborhood in the Old City.
The Iraqi army said earlier this month it had become in total control over Mosul after more than eight months of battles to retake the city from IS. The Iraqi command said it had killed more than 25000 militants throughout the campaign. Some security observers however believe that the group could still pose a security threat through sleeper cells remaining in the city.