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Mosul: Bombardment kills 40 civilians with injured under rubble

Pro-government forces launched an assault in October to eject IS from Mosul [Getty]

Date of publication: 14 December, 2016

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At least 40 civilians have been killed, including women and children, and dozens of others injured in air raids and artillery fire in the east of Mosul.
At least 40 civilians have been killed including women and children and dozens of others injured in air raids and artillery fire in the east of the Islamic State group [IS] bastion of Mosul, local and medical sources have said.

The civilians were killed early on Wednesday with many of the injured still trapped under rubble amid intense fighting in the city's al-Nour, al-Fallah and al-Quds districts between pro-government forces and IS fighters.

"We have been informed that some of the dead and injured have remain trapped under rubble since early this morning. Rescue teams have only been able to reach a few of them," a medic at Mosul hospital told The New Arab.

"We have not been able to retrieve the bodies amid the ongoing fighting and bombardment. Some of the victims were killed in IS artillery fire in areas under government control in the east," the doctor added.

Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi has recently promised that "heavy weaponry" would not be used in residential areas in Mosul to prevent civilian casualties.

Leader in the Nineveh Operations Command, Jassim al-Hilfi, told The New Arab that government forces were attempting to get a foothold in new districts east of the Tigris river, adding that his forces had "objectives they wanted to achieve on Wednesday".

Pro-government forces launched an assault on October 17 to eject IS from its last Iraqi stronghold. They have taken almost half of eastern Mosul.

Hashd al-Shaabi (Popular Mobilisation Units) paramilitary forces said on Tuesday that they retook three more villages southwest of Mosul, completing another phase in operations aimed at cutting the extremists' link to Syria.

The elite Counter-Terrorism Service now controls several eastern neighbourhoods and is closing in on the river Tigris that divides the city.

Federal police and interior ministry forces have mostly been fighting on a southern front, stalled within striking distance of Mosul airport south of the city.

The United Nations says a total of 90,000 people have been displaced as a result of the Mosul operation.

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