Nineveh (IraqiNews.com) Iraqi army forces killed an Islamic State suicide bomber and arrested another one before they carried out an attack in eastern Mosul, an officer said Thursday as the force struggle against attacks by the group on liberated areas.
Major Ali Mohsen, from the army’s elite Counter-Terrorism Forces, said in a press statement that the first suicide bomber, wearing an explosive belt, stormed a men’s barber shop in al-Taamim district, but was killed by the force before blowing himself.
Another bomber, aged 13, was arrested after civilians informed the forces about his location at a nearby spot, Mohsen added.
Iraqi government forces drove Islamic State militants out of eastern Mosul late January after three months of fighting, and are preparing to cross the Tigris River to the western section where militants are well-entrenched. Islamic State fighters, many of whom fled to the western region, have waged several attacks on the eastern areas over the past weeks, killing civilians and security personnel. Security observers say government forces face the challenge of potential Islamic State sleeping cells in the recaptured areas in the eastern section of Mosul.
Generals from the Iraqi and U.S.-led coalition forces are expecting a tougher encounter in western Mosul, and have predicted the final liberation of the city to be achieved in six months at least.