Iraq News
Terrorism

Iraqi forces take out ISIS female suicide bombers in Mosul

By Khalid al-Taie

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Iraqi soldiers rescue an old woman from under the rubble in west Mosul's Old City. [Photo from the Ninawa Media Centre Facebook page]

More than a dozen female suicide bombers have been intercepted and killed in western Mosul this week, Iraq's Counter-Terrorism Service (CTS) said Friday (July 7th).

"Over the past three days, our forces have thwarted attacks by 'Islamic State of Iraq and Syria' (ISIS) female suicide bombers whom ISIS had sent to impede the liberation of Mosul's Old City," CTS spokesman Sabah al-Numan told Diyaruna.

ISIS militants remain barricaded in the Old City, he said.

"We have killed at least 17 [female suicide bombers] who tried to blow themselves up against our forces and residents fleeing combat zones," he said.

Most of those killed are "non-Iraqis or wives of ISIS fighters who had been killed by the liberation forces or had carried out suicide attacks", al-Numan said.

Last card

"The group is using women as a weapon in the battle, resorting to its last available card in an attempt to maintain the last pockets still under its control," he said.

"This is a sign of defeat," he added.

CTS forces have inflicted heavy losses on the group this week, killing more than 900 gunmen barricaded in the old alleys, al-Numan said.

"Some of them wanted to flee across the Tigris river and sneak into eastern Mosul," he said, "but our forces were on the lookout for them."

Before allowing fleeing men to cross into safe areas, Iraqi forces have been asking them to take off their shirts to ensure they are not wearing explosive belts.

However, they face a difficulty in searching women.

ISIS gunmen exploit this factor by dressing up as women to escape with fleeing residents or to carry out suicide attacks as soon as they approach military units.

"There still are other male and female suicide bombers in the Old City," al-Numan said, adding, "We will not allow them to threaten unarmed civilians or attack our forces."

"We have been fighting for weeks in a battlefield that is becoming increasingly complicated, but we are about to accomplish the mission," he said.

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