'Islamic State leader killed in western Mosul'

Indo Asian News Service

Mosul (Iraq), April 27 (IANS/AKI) Air strikes killed an Islamic State leader on Thursday and destroyed one of the jihadist group's bases in the beleaguered Iraqi city of Mosul, local media reported, citing a military intelligence statement.

"The international coalition fighter jets have killed the IS leader called Abu Luqman al-Aafri in al-Shefaa district, located near al-Najjar district in western Mosul," read the statement quoted by the IraqiNews.com website.

"The jets also bombarded a headquarter for the group in the same area," the statement added.

Only four districts of western Mosul were yet to be recaptured from IS, the Iraqi army said earlier on Thursday.

More than 400,000 people have been displaced from west Mosul alone since the push to retake it was launched in mid-February, Iraq's Immigration Ministry said on Thursday.

The militant group has lost dozens of its leaders in the operation to re-take western Mosul, including IS's alleged second-in-command, Ayad Hamid al-Jumaili, who was reportedly killed there in an airstrike on April 1.

Fewer than 1,000 IS militants remain in Mosul, coalition officials estimate.

Iraqi forces backed by the US-led coalition and paramilitary troops dislodged IS fighters from eastern Mosul in January after three months of battles.

The huge offensive on Mosul, was launched on October 17 last year.