Mosul (IraqiNews.com) Two Islamic State leaders were arrested fleeing western Mosul to its south, military media said Tuesday as operations continue to eliminate the last few hundred militants in the city.
The Defense Ministry’s War Media Cell said the pair was arrested fleeing from Yarmouk district in the western region to the town of Qayyara in the south. One of them was the group’s general administrative official, while the other was a top booby-trapping expert, said the statement.
Iraqi government forces, backed by a U.S.-led coalition, have been fighting IS out of Mosul since mid October. Last Thursday, troops took over the Old City’s Nuri al-Kabir Mosque where IS first declared its self-styled “caliphate” in 2014.
Commanders say that, currently, there are are no more than 300 militants cornered at areas overseeing the western bank of the Tigris River, which bisects Mosul. Senior commanders were quoted saying that government troops were nearly 200 meters away from the river’s bank.
Iraqi security Services have occasionally arrested several militants hiding in the middle of civilians fleeing the battle fields. Many were arrested as security combed areas recaptured in the eastern side of the city which government troops took over late January.