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Civilians fleeing Mosul killed in roadside bomb attack

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Iraqi special forces leave the village of Gogjali for the front line on the eastern entrance of Mosul

Iraqi special forces say they have begun their assault into more urban neighborhoods of Mosul from its easternmost district, its latest push to drive Islamic State fighters from the city.

The bombs targeted a truck carrying people from Hawija, about 120 km (75 miles) south of Islamic State's stronghold in Mosul, as they were being taken to the town of Al Alam, next to the Tigris river. The images, taken Monday by Stratfor, a USA -based private intelligence firm, showed that IS fighters have cleared terrain and leveled buildings around Mosul airport and a nearby former military base on the west bank of the Tigris. They left when everything began, but unfortunately we remained.

The ministry of displacement and migration said it had taken in 9,000 displaced people during the past two days.

Special forces, who swept in from the east, have already entered the city, while Peshmerga forces are sealing off northeastern flanks and mainly Shiite Popular Mobilization forces are trying to cut off the western side. "We didn't feel safe", said Mahmoud Mahdi, who was fleeing the now government-held Gogjali neighborhood.

They raised the Iraqi flag over buildings in those neighbourhoods, and inflicted heavy losses on the fighters with ISIL, or ISIS, the statement said.

Earlier this week, Iraqi forces entered the eastern edge of Mosul after two weeks of shaping operations and clearing of surrounding villages.

Abadi, speaking on a visit to the eastern battle front, said he brought "a message to the residents inside Mosul who are hostages in the hands of Daesh (IS) - we will liberate you soon".

Recent months have seen the Iraqi army, backed by local allies on the ground and the USA -led air coalition, retake much territory. The enemy is using snipers, vehicle bombs and directed missiles.

An estimated 3,000 to 5,000 IS fighters are scattered across the sprawling city, Iraq's second largest, where a million-plus civilians are believed to be trapped.

The battle for Mosul
The battle for Mosul

On Friday, the radical organization attacked Iraqi forces in the town of Sharqat, south of Mosul, killing 20 people including 10 civilians, a local official said.

While the elite Counter-Terrorism Service (CTS) fought the Islamic State (IS) group in the streets of Mosul, the army and federal police attacked one of the last sizeable towns on the more distant southern front.

He said that in previous operations against IS-held towns and cities, civilians would be moved away from the front lines, allowing forces to advance.

"Security forces and tribal fighters are in full control of the the town", al-Jabouri told reporters.

The Islamic State group is fighting to hold Iraq's second city of Mosul as Iraqi forces and allied Kurdish troops advance on the city with USA -led coalition support. "I have not seen them for two years and a half, how can anyone accept this", Abu Zahed said.

They told residents to hand over children, especially boys aged over nine, in an apparent recruitment drive for child soldiers, United Nations human rights spokeswoman Ravina Shamdasani said.

Iraqi special forces threw themselves back into battle on Saturday after a first foray into Mosul was blunted by stiffer than expected resistance from militants defending the birthplace of their "caliphate".

These courageous commandos are taking back the Iraqi city from jihadi militants whilst wearing terrifying skull masks.

Iraqi forces on Friday made territorial gains against Daesh in the extremist militia's stronghold of Mosul, a senior army officer said.

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