Mosul (IraqiNews.com) A senior Islamic State leader was arrested while attempting to flee western Mosul to the eastern side of the city, the Interior Ministry said in a statement on Tuesday.
Ministry spokesperson Saad Maan said the forces arrested while crossing from the western side to the east, carrying a fake ID. The apprehended militant had served as the Islamic State’s so-called “tribal affairs bureau for southern Mosul”.
The Iraqi government said it cleared the city of Mosul from Islamic State members earlier this month, ending a three-year occupation by the militant group. Since then, security forces have been combing the recaptured areas for dormant IS cells and for members fleeing among refugee groups. Many have been arrested from refugee convoys over suspicions of affiliation with IS, while others were either apprehended or killed trying to escape between both sides of the city.
The group has lost most of its senior leaders among more than 25.000 members in the U.S.-backed battles, and currently occupies a few pockets in Nineveh, Anbar, Kirkuk and Salahuddin provinces, albeit amid recurrent reports of internal divisions and power disputes among its ranks. The Iraqi government intends to charge at those strongholds in the near future.