Smoke seen out of IS Islamic Police headquarter as powerful blasts occur in Tal Afar

Iraqi forces capture historic Mosul mosque where Islamic State declared 'caliphate': military
Smoke billows from the Islamic State militants positions after an artillery attack by Iraqi forces. REUTERS/Erik De Castro

Tal Afar ( Smoke billows were seen coming up from Islamic State’s so-called Islamic Police after huge blasts hit Tal Afar town, west of Mosul, a local source from Nineveh was quoted saying.

“Seven powerful blasts occurred in Tal Afar, amid heavy shelling,” the source told AlSumaria News on Thursday.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, the source added “the areas of shelling were unknown, however, smoke was seen coming out of the main headquarters of IS Islamic Police. The human losses among the militants were unidentified.”

On Wednesday, the group reportedly began evacuation of the so-called ‘security squares’, which the group established after gaining control on Tal Afar town in 2014, due to frequent shelling on IS headquarters and targeting of rest houses of prominent leaders.

Defense Ministry declared, earlier this week, conclusion of arrangements ahead of military invasion of the town. An army official was quoted as saying that an army division was ordered to leave Mosul toward Tal Afar within preparations to retake the town, which has been set as the next target of operations after victory was declared in Mosul on July 10.

Tal Afar is one of the important strongholds still held by IS in Nineveh since August 2014, when the militants occupied a third of Iraq to proclaim its self-styled “caliphate”.

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