250 families still besieged in Mosul’s Old City: Army officer

Officers from Iraq’s Counterterrorism Service walk at Grand al-Nuri Mosque said to be shot in the Old City of West Mosul, Iraq June 29, 2017. BROTHERSIRQ/via REUTERS

Mosul ( Around 250 families are still held by Islamic State militants in the Old City in the western side of Mosul, Anadolu Agency reported on Thursday.

“Sporadic clashes occurred in the Old City until this afternoon,” Lt.Gen. Haidar Ali al-Shemari, of the army’s elite Counter-Terrorism Service, was quoted as saying. “Some foreign militants, who are hiding in the tunnels, are beseiged by CTS troops.”

“Around 250 families are still held in the narrow alleyways. An area of around 100 square meters that stretches between al-Qulai’at height reaching until the Tigris River is still held by IS,” Shemari said.

The beseiged families are mainly composed of women and children, he said, adding that the militants shoot whoever attempts escpaing.

Earlier on Thursday, the London-based AlQuds Alarabi reported that sounds of explosions and fire exchanges were still being heard as few dozen IS militants are targeting Iraqi forces with suicide attacks in the Old City area. Nearly 150 suicide fighters, including women, are still trapped in the alleyways of the Old City.

Last week, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi congratulated Iraqi forces and citizens on the victory over IS militants who had held the second largest Iraqi city since 2014. More than 25000 militants were killed throughout the campaign

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