Iraqi forces are said to have been battling waves of ISIL suicide bombs as they attempt to advance deeper into eastern Mosul.
Troops are converging from several fronts on Iraq’s second largest city, the extremists’ last major base in the country.
Soldiers fighting just north of Mosul say they are ready to tighten the noose around the so-called Islamic State.
Medical teams have been treating a number of injured civilians. ISIL militants are said to have turned on them when the soldiers arrived, killing one person and wounding many others, including children.
“The soldiers reached us, and we got out. ISIL started to attack people. Some of them were injured. One of my neighbours was killed, shot in the stomach. And this girl was injured in her leg,” said one young resident, Ahmed Mohammed.
Southeast of Mosul, hundreds of Iraqis who recently returned to the town of Hammam al-Alil since its recapture from ISIL, have been receiving aid and food packages.
A mass grave with over 100 bodies was found in the town. The UN has described it as one of several ISIL killing grounds. Militants reportedly took 1,600 civilians away for possible use as human shields.
Iraqi soldiers have also captured Nimrud, according to the military. It’s the site of an ancient city which was overrun by ISIL two years ago.
The government says it was bulldozed last year as part of the extremists’ campaign to destroy symbols which the Sunni militants find idolatrous.
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