Militants strike back in Mosul
With the fight for Mosul in its final stage Monday, Islamic State militants sent female suicide bombers hidden among fleeing civilians, while Iraqi forces and the U.S.-led coalition unleashed punishing airstrikes and artillery fire that set dozens of buildings ablaze.
At least one Iraqi soldier was killed and five were wounded in the two separate suicide attacks, the military said. On Sunday, a bomber in women’s clothing killed 14 people at a camp for displaced residents in Anbar province, a provincial official said.
“These tactics don’t surprise me,” said Sgt. Ahmed Fadil, who patrolled Mosul’s Old City just 50 metres (yards) from the front.
The militants “have nowhere to go. They’re trapped,” he said.
Monday’s two suicide bombings against Iraqi soldiers followed three other such attacks by women — some of them teenagers — in the previous two days, said Sgt. Ali Abdullah Hussein.
A soldier displayed the school ID card retrieved from the body of one of the bombers, showing her to be only 15. The photo was of serious young woman in a white hijab and indicated she had studied in Bangladesh.
“Most of the people who blew themselves up today are women,” said special forces Lt. Col. Salam Hussein. He added that seven women strapped with explosives approached the troops Monday, “but thank God, our units stopped (them).”
A woman screams while fleeing with her family through a destroyed alley, as Iraqi Special Forces continue their advance against Islamic State militants, in the Old City of Mosul, Iraq, Sunday.