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Fierce clashes between Iraqi troops, Islamic State in western Mosul

Federal police members aim their weapons at a man, whom they thought was a member of Islamic State but later turned out to be mentally handicapped, during a battle with Islamic State fighters at Bab al Beed district in the old city of Mosul REUTERS/Youssef Boudlal

Mosul (IraqiNews.com) Fierce clashes have occurred on Saturday between Iraqi troops and Islamic State militants at western Mosul, news network reported.

Iraqi Federal Police, backed by the fighter jets, heavily bombarded IS pockets in Mosul’s Old City, where around 4,000 families are besieged, according to the Kurdish-owned Rudaw network.

Two booby-trapping workshops were shelled in 17 Tamuz (July 17th) district, killing 10 IS militants who were inside. The confrontations are taking place at al-Zanjili and Hawi al-Kanisah regions.

The militants mounted stiff resistance in the northwest of Mosul in light of significant decline in attacks by booby-trapped vehicles against the troops.

Iraqi police forces made further advance on Friday through a new axis of operations against IS in western Mosul.

A new front for ground offensives was opened last week targeting IS’s strategic stronghold at the Old City region from the north, having found it difficult to invade the area from the south for weeks.

The Old City is home of the ancient Grand Nuri Mosque, from which the group’s Supreme Leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi gave a famous sermon in 2014 declaring the establishment of the ‘caliphate’

Eastern Mosul was recaptured in January after three months of battles against IS. A major offensive was launched in February to retake the western flank of the city.