Iraqi forces recapture government buildings, museum in Mosul

Indo Asian News Service

Mosul (Iraq), March 7 (IANS) Iraqi security forces on Tuesday dislodged Islamic State (IS) militants from main government buildings in Mosul city.

The federal police and interior ministry special forces after overnight clashes with militants managed to free large parts of the neighbourhoods of Dawassa and Dandan.

The forces recaptured the judicial government complex, Mosul Museum, court buildings and Nineveh police directorate building, Lt. Gen. Abdul-Amir Yarallah, from the Joint Operations Command said in a statement.

The troops also captured the foot of a strategic bridge across the Tigris River, known as Al-Hurriyah Bridge and the adjacent municipality building, as well as the building of the central bank, a provincial security source told Xinhua on anonymity.

"The Mosul museum is completely destroyed and levelled to the ground. ISIS militants have looted and destroyed the museum artifacts and have rigged explosives around the buildings and leveled it to the ground," Abdel Amir al-Mohamadi, Commander of the Rapid Response Forces of the Iraqi Federal Police, told CNN.

Meanwhile, the commandos of the Counter-Terrorism Service continued fight against IS militants in the neighbourhoods of Mansour and Tel al-Rumman in the southwestern part of Mosul's western side.

The offensive to retake Mosul, Iraq's second most populous city, began in October 2016.

Divided into east and west by the Tigris river, the forces are now in the second phase, launched on February 19, to clear militants from the west, having liberated the east in January.

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, who is also the Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces, arrived in Mosul Tuesday to inspect the ground forces that won back the government area on Monday, according to a statement from his office.