UPDATED: Seven Islamic State fighters arrested in eastern Mosul

An Iraqi soldier walks in the damaged room in the five-star Ninewah Oberoi Hotel in Mosul city, Mosul, Iraq January 30, 2017. Picture taken January 30, 2017. REUTERS/Ahmed Jadallah

Nineveh ( Seven Islamic State fighters were arrested in eastern Mosul on Saturday as security forces conducted searches for the extremist group’s residual cells.

Shafaaq news website quoted a security source saying that Iraqi forces had imposed a curfew at the Qadisiyah district, cordoned both off and went on raids on their buildings, ending up with the arrest of the seven militants.

An official security source said Friday that five regiments from the joint forces had arrived to the region to dismantle Islamic State dormant cells in eastern Mosul and arrest its supporters.

At Friday midnight, several IS militants were also killed when U.S.-led coalition fighter jets pounded the Mosul Airport south of the city, a security source told Alsumaria News. The airstrikes followed the arrival of Iraqi security reinforcements to al-Bouseif hills, which overlook the airport, according to al-Arabiya network.

The Iraqi government said on January 24th that its joint forces, backed by a U.S.-led international coalition, recaptured the whole of the eastern section of Mosul from Islamic State extremists after three months of battles which left at least 3300 militants killed, according to army commanders.

The western region is still under Islamic State’s control, and Iraqi forces, assisted by coalition troops, have recently pounded IS locations there with artillery and aircraft preparing for a ground invasion.

The group has been reportedly sustaining serious losses in personnel, equipment and finances, and reports say it had been ravaged with divisions and infighting, with some fighters also executed or demoted for escaping the battlefield.

The United Nations’ envoy to Iraq, Yan Kubish, said Thursday that the group’s days in Iraq were “numbered”.

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