MOSUL, Iraq, - Iraqi security forces, on Saturday, extended their grip in Mosul after intense fighting with the Daesh group in several eastern districts of the city, a security source said.

Early in the morning, the army's armoured vehicles and soldiers swept al-Salam district, after fierce clashes with heavily armed small groups of militants, leaving at least 30 militants killed and destroying a booby-trapped car, according to Lieutenant General Abdul-Amir Yarallah, from the Joint Operations Command.

The commandos of the Counter-Terrorism Service (CTS) seized the Arbajiyah district, after intense street battles with the militants in the morning, and cleared the nearby district of Qadsiyah, which the troops stormed after the adjacent district of Baker the day before, killing dozens of the extremist militants, Yarallah said, without giving further details.

Also in the day, the commandos moved to surround Aden district and fought heavy clashes with the militants, killing many, Yarallah said, adding that, the troops supported by the U.S.-led coalition and Iraqi aircraft destroyed nine suicide car bombs, before reaching their targets in the district.

Earlier in the month, hundreds of the CTS commandos and Iraqi army made a significant progress from three directions at the eastern side of Mosul, locally known as the left bank of the Tigris River, and managed to recapture several out of about 60 districts on both sides of the city.

The advance unleashed the most intense street battles against the militants since the offensive to retake the city began more than three weeks ago.

The offensive has slowed recently as the security forces, including the CTS commandos, have pushed into more densely populated areas of eastern Mosul, where they cannot rely much on heavy shelling and air strikes because of the risk to civilians, who have been told to stay in their homes.

Nevertheless, the fierce battles inside Mosul pushed the number of displaced civilians to around 37,730 since the start of the military offensive on Oct 17, according to the recent report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.

Source: Nam News Network