At least 59 Iraqis killed in Mosul violence
Over twenty members of security forces and dozens of Takfiri militants have been killed during an exchange of fire in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul.
At least 21 policemen and 38 militants were killed in an exchange of fire in the city of Mosul on Saturday.
This is the second day of gun battles in the northern city. At least 36 people lost their lives in violence across Nineveh Province on Friday. Security sources said by Friday evening, 90 percent of Mosul areas were back under government control. However, Iraqi officials say the army is still firing mortar rounds at remaining pockets of resistance.
"What the western areas of the city (Mosul) witnessed today is a...[plot] by ISIL [the so-called Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant] to disperse the security efforts and alleviate the pressure on the terrorists in Anbar Province," said Mohammed Ibrahim, a member of the security and defense committee in the provincial council of Nineveh.
Meanwhile, the Takfiri militants, who attacked Iraq's University of Anbar and seized dozens of students as hostage, have withdrawn from the university campus.
The militants had to retreat following an attack by Iraqi forces. Iraq's army troops say they have killed the group’s leader, Abu Ataa al-Halabi, while the students and local civilians have left the area.
Iraq is currently witnessing a wave of violence unprecedented in recent years. According to figures released by the United Nations, at least 8,000 people lost their lives in the country last year -- the highest death toll since a peak of violence in Iraq in 2007.