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Iraqi forces continue fighting against IS near Mosul

Xinhua | Updated: 2016-10-20 09:24
Iraqi forces continue fighting against IS near Mosul

The Iraqi army and the Kurdish Peshmerga forces launch military operations in Khazar village, 35 kilometers south of Mosul, Iraq, on Oct 18, 2016. [Photo/Xinhua]

MOSUL, Iraq -- Iraqi security forces on Wednesday continued fighting against the Islamic State (IS) militants in their all-out offensive to free the city of Mosul, while the Kurdish Peshmerga forces repelled an IS attack on the town of Sinjar and killed 47 militants, security sources said.

In the third day of the offensive, the troops fought sporadic clashes with IS militants in several areas in northeast and east of Mosul, while the Peshmerga forces shelled IS positions with artillery and mortar rounds near the towns of Bashiqa and Butilla in northeast of Mosul, a security source from the Operations Command of Nineveh Liberation told Xinhua on condition of anonymity.

Meanwhile, the Iraqi army continued their clashes with IS militants at the edge of the town of Hamdaniyah, some 40 km southeast of Mosul, after repeated attempts to enter the town after the militants showed stiff resistance, the source said.

In south of Mosul, the Iraqi security forces and allied paramilitary Sunni and Shiite Hashd Shaabi units recaptured the villages of al-Bakr, Siewah, Najma, Osmaniyah Rafla and Zawiya while moving north to the IS-held town of Shoura, some 30km south of Mosul, the source added.

Separately, the Kurdish Peshmerga forces repelled an attack by dozens of IS militants with three suicide car bombs from three directions on the military positions outside the town of Sinjar, some 100 km west of the IS-held city of Mosul, Brigadier General Luqman al-Khansouri, commander of the town's security forces, told Xinhua.

The troops destroyed the three suicide car bombs and killed up to 47 extremist militants after several hours of fierce clashes, Khansouri said, adding that three Peshmerga members sustained serious wounds and were evacuated to the town hospital.

Early on Monday, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, who is also the commander-in-chief of the Iraqi forces, announced the start of a major offensive to retake the country's second largest city from the extremist IS group.

"Today I declare the launch of the operation of liberating Nineveh province. The time of victory has come, and the moment of the great victory is approaching," Abadi said in a brief address aired on Al Iraqiya.

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