Baghdad, April 18 (IANS) Iraqi troops killed 60 Islamic State (IS) militants in Mosul, including a commander, a senior official said on Tuesday.
Police forces, backed by Iraqi warplanes and artillery fire, were making progress in combating extremists in the al-Farouk area and in the vicinity of al-Nuri mosque in Mosul, Efe news reported.
This mosque is a prime target for the government forces for its symbolic value as it is the site where IS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi proclaimed the caliphate on June 29, 2014.
During the last hours of fighting, the police destroyed five armoured vehicles, eight motorcycles loaded with bombs, six anti-aircraft batteries and dismantled three bombs placed in buildings.
The offensive against IS in Nineveh province began six months ago and has been stagnant for a month in an attempt to access the old town of Mosul.
Iraqi forces ended the offensive in the eastern half of Mosul in January, and in February began the assault on the neighbourhoods west of the river Tigris.