Nineveh (Iraqinews.com) – A 22-strong terrorist cell was arrested Monday in Mosul city on charging of forging documents for Islamic State militants to help them escape from this vital city, an intelligence officer was quoted as saying.
The semi-official al-Sabah newspaper quoted Lieutenant Colonel Bashar Salem from the Nineveh Police Intelligence Department as saying, “Policemen arrested one of the most dangerous terrorist cell involved in forging IDs of Islamic State militants in order not to be identified by security forces while escaping from Mosul city.”
“The 22-member cell was arrested in al-Yarmouk district, west of Mosul, and was taken to a lock-up for interrogation,” Salem said, adding that the arrest was made upon accurate intelligence reports.
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 25,000 militants were killed throughout the campaign, which started in October 2016.
Since the city was declared free, security troops continue to comb western Mosul areas for hidden IS cells. Despite the victory over IS in the city, observers say Islamic State is believed to constitute a security threat even after the group’s defeat at its main havens across Iraqi provinces.
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.