Iraq News

Iraq forces retake ISIL-bombed 'Jonah's tomb' in Mosul

Iraqi forces battling the "Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant" (ISIL) in Mosul on Monday (January 16th) retook an area where the group's elements levelled one of the city's most well-known shrines in 2014, officials said.

"We retook control of Nabi Yunus area... raised the Iraqi flag above the tomb," Sabah al-Noman, spokesman for the Counter-Terrorism Service, told AFP.

Two other neighbourhoods in eastern Mosul were also retaken from ISIL on Monday, he said.

The Nabi Yunus shrine -- which was built on the reputed burial site of a prophet known in the Qur'an as Yunus and in the Bible as Jonah -- was a popular pilgrimage site.

In July 2014, ISIL militants rigged the shrine and blew it up, sparking global outrage.

In addition to the Nabi Yunus area, Iraqi forces have also liberated Bawabat al-Shams, Bawabat Narkal, al-Shorta neighbourhood, Souq al-Ghanam and the old Ninawa neighbourhood, Joint Operations Command spokesman Yahya al-Zubaidi told Diyaruna.

They have now proceeded to clear areas retaken the day before of any ISIL remnants, he said.

"By 12:00 p.m. on Tuesday, Iraqi forces have liberated about 95% of eastern Mosul," al-Zubaidi said, adding that the full liberation of eastern Mosul "is only a matter of time".

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