Mosul (Iraqinews.com) – Sixty Islamic State militants were killed in a security campaign south of Mosul on Sunday, a security source said.
“The Iraqi army, police and Popular Mobilization Forces have been launching a wide-scale security campaign since Saturday evening, targeting Islamic State militants stationed in an island between al-Shumaisat and Albu Seif villages in southern Mosul, leaving 60 of them dead,” a source with the Nineveh Operations Command told Al-Arab newspaper.
“Dozens of IS militants were arrested while others fled the scene to Yaremja city,” the source said, adding that the clampdown was launched after receiving reports of a plan by IS militants to attack the eastern and southern parts of Mosul.
“Search is still underway for other IS militants,” the source concluded.
Earlier in the day, a military source said paramilitary troops repelled an Islamic State attack west of Mosul, killing five militants.
On July 10, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi announced liberation of the second largest Iraqi city of Mosul from IS militants, who had captured it in 2014. More than 25000 militants were killed throughout the campaign, which started in October 2016.
Since the city was declared free, security troops continue to comb it for hidden IS cells. Despite the victory over IS there in the city, observers say IS is believed to constitute a security threat even after the group’s defeat at its main havens across Iraqi provinces.
A government campaign, backed by paramilitary troops and a U.S.-led international coalition, has been fighting the Islamic State group, which declared a self-styled “caliphate” from Mosul in June 2014.
Mosul has always been an easy target for Islamic State militants, who seek to take revenge from Iraqi security forces after they lost the city earlier this year.