Mosul (IraqiNews.com) Thirty-two civilians, including women and children, died Monday when Islamic State militants shelled areas in eastern and northern Mosul, according to an Iraqi security officer.
Capt. Amir Watheq told Kurdish-run BasNews that IS improvised mortars targeted Muthanna, Baladiyat, Rifaq, al-Barid and al-Sukkar districts in eastern and northeastern Mosul, causing the casualties which ambluances rushed to hospitals and medical units in the region.
Civilian’s safety has been a heating matter since U.S.-backed operations launched in October to retake Iraq’s second largest city.
Though hundreds of IS fighters fled eastern Mosul when security forces recaptured the area in October, the militants continued to occasionally target civilians and security forces there with shelling and suicide bombings.
The dilemma persisted when another offensive launched in February to retake the western side of Mosul, a densely-populated and narrowly-structured region that is home to nearly 750.000 civilians. More than 200 civilians died in apparent strikes by the U.S.-led coalition last month. The Iraqi government and security command continue to reiterate that the deaths were caused by booby-traps planted by IS in civilians’ homes. The Pentagon said it was opening a probe into the allegations, but stressed it was not going to change combat tactics.