Two senior Islamic State leaders apprehended in Mosul, says official

Iraqi security forces launch a major operation to stem out IS cells

Nineveh ( – Two senior Islamic State (IS) leaders were arrested Monday in Mosul city as Iraqi troops continue to hunt for dormant IS cells across the country, a military official was quoted as saying.

Colonel Haseeb Maarouf from the Nineveh Operations Command told Basnews that the army’s 20th brigade arrested the Islamic State’s so-called finance minister in a military operation in northern Mosul.

“Another IS leader, who was in charge of planting bombs in the eastern and northern axes of Mosul, got nabbed in the clampdown as well,” Maarouf said, adding that the two were taken to the command’s headquarters for interrogation.

Maarouf further highlighted that a large cache of explosive materials and weapons were seized in the military operation.

The Iraqi government cleared the city of Mosul from Islamic State members last July, ending a three-year occupation by the militant group.

Since then, security forces have been combing the recaptured areas for dormant IS cells, hiding among refugee groups.

Iraq declared victory over Islamic State in December with the help of a US-led alliance, having retaken all the territory captured by the extremists in 2014 and 2015.

The Islamic State group appeared on the international scene in 2014 when it seized large swathes of territory in Iraq and Syria, declaring the establishment of an Islamic “caliphate” from Mosul city.

Later on, the group has become notorious for its brutality, including mass killings, abductions and beheadings, prompting the U.S. to lead an international coalition to destroy it.

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