Iraqi government forces have frustrated an attack by Takfiri Daesh militants in Mosul as they press ahead with their operation to drive the terrorists out of their last urban stronghold in the Arab state.
An unnamed senior officer told the Reuters news agency that a number of militants had managed to get near elite Iraqi units in the southwestern part of Mosul, located some 400 kilometers north of the capital Baghdad, early on Thursday, posing as internally displaced people.
The Takfiris were neutralized before they could carry out any act of terror.
The development came only hours after a local source, requesting anonymity, said two children had sustained injuries after mortar shells fired by Daesh terrorists slammed into Karaj district northeast of Mosul.
The victims were taken to a local hospital to receive medical treatment.
Commander of Federal Police Forces Lieutenant General Raed Shaker Jawdat also announced in a statement that security forces had launched a series of surprise attacks against Daesh fortifications west of Mosul.
He said federal police soldiers have evacuated dozens of displaced families from the area, and moved them to refugee camps in the town of Hammam al-Alil, situated about 30 kilometers south of Mosul.
Moreover, the commander of Nineveh Liberation Operation, Lieutenant General Abdul Amir Yarallah, said Counter Terrorism Service (CTS) members wrested control over Shaqaq al-Ma’moun area in western Mosul on Wednesday.
Additionally, the media bureau of Popular Mobilization Units – commonly known by the Arabic name Hashd al-Sha’abi – said the pro-government fighters had repelled Daesh attacks on Sada and Bawiza areas north of Mosul.
An Iraqi air force combat drone also struck a parked car in the Wadi Akab industrial area of western Mosul, leaving four Daesh terrorists dead.
On February 19, Iraqi soldiers and Hashd al-Sha’abi fighters mounted a new offensive to liberate western Mosul.
Daesh abducts over two dozen civilians in Kirkuk
Meanwhile, Daesh Takfiris have abducted 25 civilians in the northern oil-rich province of Kirkuk on charges of fleeing a militant-held area in the Zab district.
A Hashd al-Sha’abi source said the terror group accused the civilians of departing the militant-held Zab district, located 95 kilometers west of the provincial capital city of Kirkuk, and crossing into the “land of infidels.”
385 civilians killed in Iraq violence: UN
Furthermore, the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) said in a statement on Wednesday that a total of 385 Iraqi civilians lost their lives in the month of February, while 609 others were injured.
The UN mission said the number of casualties does not include security members after Iraqi military authorities criticized UNAMI last December for figures about the deaths of police personnel announced for November.
The northern province of Nineveh, of which Mosul is the capital, is the worst affected area with 201 civilians killed and 250 others injured, followed the capital province of Baghdad, where 120 civilians were and 300 others injured in acts of terrorism and armed conflict.