BAGHDAD, Iraq, - Iraqi security forces, on Friday, continued heavy fighting against the militants in the city of Mosul, and so far the troops have freed a total of 20 districts in the eastern part of the city, after more than a month since a major offensive was launched, to drive out the extremist militants from their last major stronghold in the country, the Iraqi military said.

In eastern Mosul, the commandos of the Counter-Terrorism Service (CTS), fought heavy clashes with the militants in the districts of al-Bakr, Qahira and Zuhour, a statement by the Iraqi Joint Operations Command (JOC), said.

The number of districts that have been completely freed by the CTS commandos, so far, reached 20, the statement said.

In south-eastern Mosul, the soldiers of the army's 9th armoured Division continued their fierce clashes with the militants, in the districts of Intisar, Jadidat al-Mufti, al-Salam, Younis al-Sab'awi and Palestine, and have been trying to extend their foothold in the five districts, the JOC said.

The troops inside Mosul have met stubborn resistance from the extremist militants, who are fighting in small groups and move quickly throughout the districts, in the eastern side of the city, locally named the left bank of the Tigris River, that bisects the city.

The extremist groups frequently infiltrated behind the advanced CTS forces, using tunnels or sneaking through dozens of houses and buildings.

Earlier in the day, a report by the International Organisation for Migration (IOM), said that, after more than a month of military operations against the militants in Mosul, some 72,990 civilians have fled their homes in the city and its adjacent districts, and the number went up every day.-

Source: Nam News Network