MOSUL, Iraq, - Iraqi security forces, on Saturday, recaptured a town and two villages, south of the city of Mosul, while special forces fought heavy clashes with the militants, as they pushed deeper into the eastern part of the city, a security source said.

The army's 9th armoured Division continued their advance towards Mosul and managed to free the town of Khedhr al-Yas, which is the centre of Nimrud in the south of Mosul, and nearby two villages of Qara-Shor and Kahriza, said a statement from the Joint Operations Command (JOC).

Nimrud area includes the archaeological site of Nimrud, located some 30 km south of Mosul, and freed from the militants a few days ago.

The ancient Assyrian ruin site of Nimrud, which was part of the militants' campaign of destruction against heritage sites, was founded in the 13th century B.C. and became the capital of Assyrian empire.

In eastern Mosul, the commandos of the Counter-Terrorism Service (CTS) continued clashes with the militants to gain more ground in Mosul, and managed during the day, to recapture parts of the Muharibin and Mu'alimen districts, the JOC statement said.

The troops started later in the day, a clearing operation in the freed areas, to defuse dozens of booby-traps planted by the extremist militants, the JOC statement said.

The security forces have been fighting to push deeper into the eastern side of the city, locally known as the left bank of the Tigris River, but met resistance of the militants, who are fighting in small groups of well-trained fighters with snipers, suicide bomb attacks and many landmines, in addition to the heavy presence of civilians in their homes in Mosul districts.

After more than a month of military operations against the militants inside Mosul, almost 60,000 people have been registered as displaced, and this number went up every day, according to the recent report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.

Source: Nam News Network