Insurgents fight Iraqi forces in city of Mosul

2014-06-07 06:53
(Ahmad Al-Rubay, AFP)

(Ahmad Al-Rubay, AFP)

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Mosul - Militants fought Iraqi security forces in the northern city of Mosul on Friday, a day after parts of another city were briefly overrun by insurgents.

A curfew was imposed on Mosul on Thursday, when Sunni Islamist insurgents moved into parts of the city of Samarra, bringing them within striking distance of a Shi'ite shrine, the destruction of which in 2006 touched off a sectarian war.

The Iraqi army regained control in Samarra later the same day after bombing the city, but violence then spread to neighbouring Nineveh province and its capital Mosul, where more than 20 people were killed in attacks on Friday.

Militants deployed in large numbers in the west of the city early on Friday and killed four riot policemen and three soldiers in separate clashes, army and security sources said.

In southern Mosul, five suicide bombers stormed an arms depot, security sources said. Some managed to detonate their vests before being shot, killing eleven soldiers.

Mohammed Ibrahim, a member of the security and defence committee in the provincial council of Nineveh, said the army had killed 105 militants and destroyed 20 of their vehicles mounted with machine guns, preventing them from holding ground.

Mosul has long been a stronghold for insurgents, who have been invigorated by the conflict in Syria, with which Nineveh shares a border. To the south lies the Sunni dominated Iraqi province of Anbar, where the army has been fighting militants since they overran two cities early this year.

Bloodshed remains below the levels seen in 2006 and 2007 when sectarian Shi'ite-Sunni killings reached their peak, but last year was Iraq's deadliest since violence began to ease in 2008. Nearly 800 people were killed across Iraqi in May alone, making it the bloodiest month so far this year.
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