First published: December 25, 2016, 11:27 PM IST | Updated: 8 mins ago
File photo of Islamic State fighters.
Mosul: A total of 97 Islamic State (IS) militants were killed on Sunday in heavy clashes with the security forces and an air strike by the US-led coalition aircraft in the city of Mosul in northern Iraq.
The soldiers of the Ninth Armoured Division repelled attacks by dozens of IS militants and suicide car bombs on the recently-freed neighbourhood of al-Intisar, al-Shaima and al-Salam in southeastern Mosul, leaving 51 militants killed and destroying four suicide car bombs, Xinhua news agency quoted a statement by the Iraqi Joint Operations Command as saying.
Another IS attack occurred on the positions of the federal police, just south of Mosul, but they repelled the attack, killing 21 militants and destroying two suicide car bombs, the statement said.
Also on Sunday, based on intelligence reports an international coalition warplane conducted an air strike on a building in al-Wahda neighbourhood, where many IS militants in hiding were preparing for an attack on the security forces, leaving some 25 militants killed, according to the statement.
The Iraqi forces continued during the day their clearing operations in the freed neighbourhoods in the eastern side of Mosul, locally known as the left bank of the Tigris which bisects the city.
Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi on October 17 announced a major offensive to retake Mosul, the country’s second largest city.
Since then, the Iraqi security forces, backed by international coalition forces, have inched to the eastern fringes of Mosul and made progress on other routes around the city.
Mosul has been under the IS control since June 2014, when Iraqi government forces abandoned their weapons and fled.