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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Fighting in Mosul Resumes After Two Weeks of Calm

By VOA News December 30, 2016

Iraqis in Mosul faced car bombs and airstrikes Friday on the second day of a renewed push to retake the city following two weeks of relative calm.

Multiple car bomb explosions have been reported in parts of the city, but no official figure on casualties has been made available. An officer in the federal police force told Reuters news agency that Iraqi forces had also disabled a number of car bombs.

Thursday, the U.S.-led coalition said it might have killed civilians in an airstrike targeting a van suspected to be full of Islamic State fighters "in what was later determined to be a hospital compound parking lot," according to a statement released by CENTCOM, the U.S. military command for the Middle East. A video uploaded by the Islamic State-affiliated Amaq News Agency shows at least seven bodies claimed to be civilians who were killed in the attack.

Residents of the al-Samah neighborhood on the outskirts of Mosul were seen moving toward camps for internally displaced persons or other safe locations Friday as fighting intensified throughout the city.

Mosul, the last remaining stronghold of Islamic State in Iraq, fell to the terrorist group in 2014. The push to retake the city, which began in mid-October, had slowed in recent weeks due to bad weather and a stronger than expected defense by the extremists.

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