Duhok – After losing major parts of eastern Mosul to the Iraqi forces, Islamic State’s (ISIS) militants on Thursday targeted the area with car bomb attacks, causing casualties among civilians.
ISIS hit the Kokajli district east of Mosul city with three car bomb attacks.
“The explosions occurred in a crowded street in Kokajli district, killing 23 civilians and inuring dozens more,” Hussein Ahmed, an eyewitness, told ARA News on Thursday.
Kokajli was one of the first districts of eastern Mosul to be recaptured by the Iraqi forces in the Mosul operation.
According to local sources, ISIS launched the attacks as a revenge against civilians who praised the Iraqi forces that entered Mosul in one of the largest anti-ISIS operations in Iraq.
On Wednesday, Human Rights Watch reported that extremists of the Islamic State are deliberately targeting civilians who refuse to join them in Mosul city, in Iraq’s northwestern Nineveh Governorate. ISIS militants reportedly told residents of Mosul that those who don’t support its self-proclaimed Caliphate are “apostates” and therefore valid targets beside the Iraqi and coalition forces.
Mosul is the de facto capital of the Islamic State in Iraq. The Iraqi Army and Kurdish Peshmerga launched a joint operation on October 17, to capture the city and its surroundings from ISIS. Bolstered by the coalition’s air support, Iraqi security forces recently took control of dozens of towns and villages in Mosul’s countryside. They also captured several neighborhoods in the city itself.
According to military sources, more than 2,200 ISIS militants have been killed in the operation so far. Informed sources inside Mosul told ARA News that the Iraqi forces currently control approximately 50% of Mosul city, beside tightening the siege on the ISIS-held downtown districts.
Reporting by: Ali Issa | Source: ARA News
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