Daesh mortar fire kills seven, wounds several civilians fleeing Mosul

US-backed govt forces began operations on May 27 to capture the Daesh-held enclave, regularly dropping leaflets telling families to flee. Meanwhile, Turkish military air strikes target PKK positions killing six in northern Iraq.

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

A member of the Iraqi rapid response forces fires a mortar shell against Daesh in western Mosul, Iraq, May 31, 2017.

At least seven civilians were killed and 23 others wounded on Thursday by Daesh mortar shells as they tried to escape from the Zanjili district held by the militants in Mosul, Iraqi police said.

Zanjili is part of the enclave that remains in the hands of Daesh in the northern Iraqi city, alongside the Old City centre and the Medical City hospitals complex.

US-backed government forces began operations on May 27 to capture the enclave, regularly dropping leaflets telling families to flee.

The casualties from Zanjili, part of the first group of civilians who managed to escape, were taken to a field clinic, a police officer said.

Others managed to reach government-held lines unhurt, using the same exit route, he said.

The militants ordered dozens of families living in Zanjili district to move into the Old City to prevent them escaping towards the Iraqi forces, a resident said.

The Mosul offensive, now in its eighth month, has taken much longer than expected, with Iraqi government advances slowed by the need to avoid civilian casualties.

The UN has said that up to 200,000 civilians may still be in Daesh-held areas of Mosul, most of them in the Old City which lies immediately south of where the current fighting is taking place.

The fall of the city would, in effect, mark the end of the Iraqi half of the ''caliphate'' declared in 2014 over parts of Iraq and Syria by Daesh leader Abu Bakr al Baghdadi, in speech from a historic mosque in Mosul's old city.

Turkish air strikes kill 6 PKK terrorists in northern Iraq

At least six PKK terrorists were killed in air strikes in northern Iraq, on Thursday, the Turkish army said in a statement.

Turkish warplanes hit the Avasin-Basyan region in northern Iraq, killing PKK militants as they prepared to attack Turkish border posts, the Turkish General Staff said in a statement.

An anti-aircraft weapon emplacement was destroyed in the strike, the statement added.

The PKK - listed as a terrorist organisation by Turkey, the US and EU - resumed its armed campaign against Turkey in July 2015. Since then, it has been responsible for the deaths of around 1,200 people including women and children.

PKK attacks have killed 793 security personnel and injured 4,000; they also killed 314 civilians and injured over 2,000.

More than 10,000 PKK members have been killed or apprehended in anti-terror operations, according to authorities. About 5,500 weapons, 652,000 rounds of ammunition, over 142 tonnes of explosives, and 15,000 bombs have been seized.

TRTWorld and agencies