Troops retake Mosul government office

By BBC

Iraqi forces have retaken the main government offices in Mosul as the offensive continues to oust the so-called Islamic State (IS) group.

The advance could pave the way for an attack on the heavily populated old city, where the militants are still entrenched.

Thousands of civilians are streaming out of the city every day.

Mosul is the last stronghold for IS in Iraq. The east of the city was recaptured in January.

The Iraqi forces launched a surprise attack overnight to storm the government buildings.

Although the structures are reported to be largely destroyed, they are a strategic and symbolic win.

The forces have also captured the central bank’s main branch, which was looted by IS when they took over the city in 2014, and the nearby courthouse.

The court was used by IS to deliver harsh sentences, including stonings, throwing people off rooftops and chopping off hands, according to Reuters news agency.

On Sunday, Iraqi forces began a new push into the western part of Mosul after bad weather slowed them down.

The following day, they captured the al-Hurriya (Freedom) Bridge over the River Tigris.

 

  

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