Three car bombs detonated on Thursday in a recently freed district in the eastern city of Mosul, leaving at least 25 people and security members killed and dozens others wounded, a security source said.
The attacks occurred when three suicide car bombs struck a crowd of civilians at a marketplace and positions of security in Gogjali district at the eastern edge of Mosul, the source told Xinhua on condition of anonymity.
Security forces blocked the district and carried out a search operation, looking for more car bombs believed to have entered the area, the source said.
The attacks came as security forces are carrying out operations to clear the recently freed districts from Islamic State (IS) militants in the eastern side of Mosul, locally known as the left bank of the Tigris which bisects the city.
After nearly seven weeks of street-to-street battles against IS militants inside Mosul, the elite Counter-Terrorism Service retook control of 40 districts, while the army's 9th armored Division and the 1st Division recaptured six more neighborhoods in the city.
The troops are facing grueling fighting inside Mosul from the extremist militants, who are carrying out brutal counter attacks in small groups moving quickly throughout the districts, and using car bombs, as well as mortars and snipers, in addition to using the population of the city as human shields.
Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi on Oct. 17 announced a major offensive to retake Mosul, the country's second largest city.
Since then, the Iraqi security forces, backed by international coalition forces, have inched to the eastern fringes of Mosul and made progress on other routes around the city.
Mosul, some 400 km. north of the Iraqi capital of Baghdad, has been under IS control since June 2014, when Iraqi government forces abandoned their weapons and fled, enabling IS militants to take control of parts of Iraq's northern and western regions.
Source: Philippines News Agency