Iraqi forces advance in Mosul against IS

Mosul: Iraqi forces recaptured a new area in eastern Mosul as they secured further advances against IS in northern Iraq, a senior military official said.
The troops retook early on Friday al Muthanna neighbourhood, one of the biggest areas in eastern Mosul, before storming other districts.
“Our troops killed around 44 Daesh fighters while advancing on the eastern side of Mosul,” Major General Maan al Saadi said, using an Arabic acronym for IS.
“Most Daesh elements escaped towards the Tigris River as the military units advanced through the city,” he added.
Iraqi forces, backed by US-led air power, are pressing ahead with the campaign launched in mid-October to retake Mosul, Iraq’s second-largest city, which has been under IS control since mid-2014.
Earlier on Friday, Iraqi forces recaptured the northern village of Abu Dalf from IS hours after the extremist militia seized it in a surprise counter-attack.
IS fighters overran Abu Dalf following a major dawn attack and seized some government facilities, including a police station there.
A suicide bomber from IS also blew himself up at a government military meeting in the area, killing three and injuring nine, a local security official said.
The forces, backed by helicopters, dislodged IS fighters from the village in the northern province of Salah al Din, the official, who asked not to be named, said.
Eight government troops, including two senior officers, were killed in the fighting.
“Six Daesh elements were also killed,” the official added. “The situation is completely under security forces’ control.”
IS has been carrying out a string of counter-attacks indifferent parts of Iraq in an attempt to hamper a US-backed military campaign to drive the extremist militia from its key stronghold of Mosul.
— dpa