Mosul – Islamic State militants set fire at a public hospital under security forces siege in western Mosul and executed 12 inside as security operations reach the group’s final holdouts.
Col, Khedr Saleh, from the Iraqi Federal Police, told BasNews that IS militants set fire to the “public hospital” as the forces besieged it after taking over two other hospitals over the past two days.
“Daesh (Islamic State) members executed 12 civilians, including young people in their twenties, inside the hospital,” Saleh said, noting that those had been in detention.
The Public Hospital is the city’s fifth and is the last one under IS control.
Iraqi government troops engaged in intense fighting with Islamic State members on Sunday as they continued incursions into IS’s last havens in western Mosul’s Old City.
Rudaw agency said army warplanes bombarded two IS locations in Zanjili district, south of the strategic Old City, the group’s last holdout in western Mosul.
Fierce encounters continue also at neighboring al-Sihha, where troops regained control by 70 percent, with militants encircled inside the Old City, the network added.
Iraqi commanders had predicted the battle against IS in Mosul to end before the holy month of Ramadan, which started Saturday.
Earlier this month, the Iraqi command said it moved towards the Old City from the northwest, having besieged the area for weeks from the south.
The Old City, with its narrowly structured alleyways, and with hundreds of thousands of civilians believed to be stranded inside, was the place where IS declared the establishment of its rule in Iraq in 2014.
The United Nations says it expects 200.000 civilians to flee the area as encounters heat up.