UPDATED: Iraqi troops take over western Mosul district, village

Iraqi security forces in western Mosul.

Nineveh ( Iraqi troops recaptured on Tuesday a village and a residential district in western Mosul as a security campaign presses on to clear the region from Islamic State militants.

Anadolu Agency quoted a military officer saying the troops took over the Wadi Hajar district in the southern area of western Mosul. “Iraqi forces fought fierce battles with militants holed up in Wadi Hajar, located in Daesh-held western Mosul,” Colonel Ahmed al-Jubouri of the army’s Nineveh Operations Command told the Agency.

The Defense Ministry’s War Media Cell said Iraqi troops took control of Damerji village, south of Badush, northwest of Mosul.

The Iraqi government launched February 19th a major offensive to clear western Mosul from Islamic State militants, having recaptured the eastern region late January.

Federal Police chief, Lt. Gen. Shaker Jawdat, said in statements earlier on Tuesday that 929 Islamic State members were killed since operations began. According to Jawdat, 200 fighters were killed on Monday alone, adding that 84 booby-trapped vehicles and 3 drones were destroyed and brought down during battles.

Government troops have recently pushed closer to central Mosul, where many strategic government facilities are located. They had made remarkable gains retaking the city’s airport and a major military camp when troops began the campaign invading the region from the south.

The Iraqi migration ministry said Monday operations in western Mosul had so far forced 14.000 civilians to flee the region, bringing the total of people leaving Mosul since the start of operations in October at 235.000.

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