3 Iraqi soldiers killed during Old Mosul district invasion

Smoke rises during a battle between Islamic State fighters and Iraqi troops at an outskirts of Mosul, Iraq February 25, 2017 REUTERS.

Nineveh ( Three Iraqi soldiers died and four others were wounded Monday as Iraqi forces enter a third day of offensives seeking to recapture central Mosul’s Old City from Islamic State militants.

Cap. Silwan Huthiafa al-Hajj, from the Iraqi Federal Police, was quoted by Anadolu Agency saying three Iraqi soldiers were killed and four others wounded as Islamic State militants waged an attack on forces with a booby-trapped car at Bab al-Toub district. He said the blast was followed with gun and rocket fire by the militants who, he said, made use of bad weather conditions to target the front defense lines.

Al-Hajj said losses on the militant group’s side were could not be determined.

Earlier on Monday, Captain Jabbar Hassan, from the Iraqi army, told Anadolu that the forces had killed 20 militants during battles at al-Neft neighborhood, another Old Mosul area, before recapturing it.

The attacks on Monday, according to al-Hajj, prompted troops to retreat to a nearby government complex waiting for backup.

In a related development, Anadolu quoted Brig. Gen. Rakan al-Mannan, from the Counter-Terrorism Force, saying that three IS members were arrested duing the invasion of al-Neft, adding that one was carrying a foreign passport from a country which he declined to name for “security considerations”.

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