Police kill 9 IS militants south of Mosul, IS kill 4 PMU fighters in west

Dead Islamic State fighters’ bodies.

Nineveh ( Iraqi police forces killed nine Islamic State militants in southern Mosul on Sunday after a foiled attack, while the extremist group killed four paramilitary fighters in the west.

Maj. Zaid Taha told Bas News website that police forces foiled an attack staged by IS members from several directions at Hammam al-Alil, a district recaptured by security forces in November.

“The forces thwarted the attack, killed nine militants, including a suicide bomber, and arrested four Arab nationals,” Taha said.

Meanwhile, in western Mosul, army captain Bashar Udai told the website that Islamic State militants killed four members of Al-Hashd al-Shaabi (Popular Mobilization Units) after their booby-trapped vehicle stormed a PMU deployment in the strategic town of Tal Abta. Four militia members were also wounded in the attack, according to the military officer.

Iraqi joint forces and allied militias are awaiting orders from the government in Baghdad to begin an offensive against IS strongholds in western Mosul. Operations backed by a US-led international military coalition have managed to retake the whole of the city’s eastern regions since October.

Military officials predict a tougher battle in the west as the region is home to at least 750.000 civilians, a factor that had already slowed down operational progress at some occasions over the past three months.

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