Nineveh (IraqiNews.com) Two Iraqi army soldiers and ten militants were killed Tuesday when Islamic State militants attacked an eastern Mosul neighborhood already under security control, security sources said.
Anadolu Agency quoted Maj. Nabhan al-Maamouri, from the Interior Ministry’s Rapid Response Forces, as saying that the ten militants sneaked on the dawn of Tuesday to Sumer district, southeast of the city, after crossing the Tigris River from the western region.They took over alleys and streets in the neighborhood for more than three hours, the officer said. They were all killed by intervening army forces, said Maamouri.
The officer added that Islamic State militants have recently used to attack liberated districts with small combat companies or drones supplied with IEDs.
Iraqi generals have recently said they had fought off a few attacks by IS militants coming from the group’s strongholds in the west since government troops announced retaking the eastern region on January 24th. The group lost more than 3000 militants in three months of encounters with Iraqi troops, and is now reinforcing its defenses in the west anticipating imminent ground invasions by security forces.
The conflict in Mosul has forced at least 191.000 people to flee to refugee camps, according to government data. Military officials predict a more difficult battle in western Mosul, having to ensure the safety of at least 750.000 civilians there.