Iraq News

Ninawa police on the lookout for ISIS remnants in Mosul

By Khalid al-Taie


A general view shows a sign reading in Arabic: "Here is a cemetery of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria" in the middle of the rubble in the old city of Mosul on January 9th, 2018. [Ahmed al-Rubaye/AFP]

Ninawa province police are carrying out a security plan to hunt down "Islamic State of Iraq and Syria" (ISIS) remnants, Ninawa police chief Brig. Watheq al-Hamadani told Diyaruna.

The province's police command announced on Thursday (January 11th) the arrest of eight ISIS elements who were hiding among civilians in the city of Mosul.

They were captured in different parts of Mosul's al-Qadisiya al-Thania neighbourhood, al-Hamadani said.

The detained were currently not engaged in any "secret activity", but were active ISIS members in the past, he said.

Efforts to cleanse Mosul of ISIS sleeper cells are ongoing as part of a plan that includes the army, air force and other security agencies, he said.

"We carry out daily raids and searches in more than one area to detect terrorists and find their bases and cells," he said.

"We have arrested and killed a large number of them and have managed to foil their plans," said al-Hamadani.

"We are on the offensive, not the enemy."

Collective work

"Our cities today are very safe thanks to the collective effort of security forces and the local population's unconditional support of our efforts," he said.

Ninawa's police announced on December 30th they killed 23 ISIS elements during the course of a week, in attacks on their secret headquarters south of Mosul.

"We received reports of a terrorist base on one of the islands in the middle of the Tigris River in the Albu Saif area [10 kilometres south of Mosul]," al-Hamadani said.

A joint force of Ninawa police and army troops, with direct support from international coalition aircraft, immediately moved on the target.

"Iraqi forces clashed with ISIS elements who were holed up in the camp," he said, adding that 23 of them were killed in the raid, while one policeman was injured.

Ninawa police are also working to combat organised crime in Mosul, al-Hamadani said.

They succeeded earlier this week in taking down "several gangs, the latest of which was comprised of five persons accused of armed robberies and theft", he added.

Additionally, the police on Thursday freed two kidnapped women in the neighbourhood of al-Bakr.

Al-Hamadani stressed the police members' readiness to fight. "They are working with high morale to fight terrorism and crime and provide security to the people of Mosul."

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