Iraqi army soldiers have thwarted a major counter-attack by members of the Takfiri Daesh terrorist group in a western district of Mosul as government forces and allied fighters from Popular Mobilization Units are pushing to drive the extremists out of their last bastion in the strategic northern city.
According to media reports, military and security officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said more than 100 Daesh militants sneaked into the western Dandan neighborhood at dawn from the Tigris River and took over a mosque.
The Takfiris then used the loudspeakers at the mosque to announce the assault.
Following the takeover of the mosque, the militants moved to the adjacent neighborhoods of Dawasa and Nabi Sheet, where they broke into houses and engaged in fierce clashes with security forces.
Eleven Federal Police troops and four civilians reportedly lost their lives in the clashes.
An unnamed police commander said dozens of Daesh militants were killed in the operation to push back the extremists, many of whom were wearing explosives-laden vests.
Meanwhile, Federal Police Forces Commander Lieutenant General Shaker Jawdat announced in a statement that more than 1,200 Daesh militants, including snipers and leaders, had been killed ever since government forces and allied fighters launched an offensive in February to liberate western Mosul.
Jawdat said 27 leaders and 214 snipers were killed during military operations there, while 300 square kilometers of land were retaken.
Iraqi police also destroyed 865 vehicles rigged with explosives and defused 780 landmines.