Metro USA (New York) - - News - REUTERS

2Is­lamic State mil­i­tants are plant­ing bombs near front doors in Mo­sul to pre­vent civil­ians leav­ing, as Iraqi forces make their fi­nal push against the ji­hadists af­ter months of fight­ing. Trapped in a shrink­ing area of the city, the mil­i­tants are us­ing the sev­eral hun­dred thou­sand civil­ians un­der their con­trol as hu­man shields to avoid be­ing tar­geted or per­haps tar­nish what Iraqi lead­ers de­scribe as im­mi­nent vic­tory. Backed by a U.S.-led coali­tion, Iraqi forces have made gains since open­ing a new front in north­west Mo­sul this month and have now dis­lodged Is­lamic State from all but about 5 square miles of the city. The mil­i­tants still con­trol the Old City, where they are ex­pected to make their last stand in the densely pop­u­lated, nar­row streets that are im­pas­si­ble for ar­mored ve­hi­cles, forc­ing Iraqi forces to ad­vance on foot.

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