A triple car bomb killed at least 15 civilians and eight policemen on Thursday at east Mosul market, according to Iraq’s Defense Ministry. Mosul is jidhadists final stronghold in Iraq. “A terrorist attack in the form of three car bombs at a market in Gogjali killed 15 civilians and eight police,” a coordination centre for forces battling IS said in a statement.
The Islamic State claimed the bombings, according to a military statement. The attacks targeted Kokjali, a suburb that the authorities said they had retaken from the jihadists almost two months ago. A military spokesman said the car bombs went off in a market. The U.S.-backed assault on Mosul, the jihadists’ last major stronghold in Iraq, was launched by a 100,000-strong alliance of local forces on Oct. 17. It has become the biggest military operation in Iraq since the 2003 U.S.-led invasion that toppled Saddam Hussein.
“People waiting for aid are already vulnerable and need help. They should be protected, not attacked,” said Lise Grande, U.N. humanitarian coordinator for Iraq. “All parties to the conflict – all parties – have an obligation to uphold international humanitarian law and ensure that civilians survive and receive the assistance they need.”
Elite army forces have captured a quarter of the city but the advance has faced weeks of fierce counter-attacks from the militants. The authorities do not release figures for civilian or military casualties, but medical officials say dozens of people are wounded each day in the battle for Mosul.
Earlier on Thursday, the UN denounced the killing of four aid workers and seven other civilians in two mortar attacks in Mosul this week. The U.N. mission said the attacks occurred on Tuesday and Wednesday in eastern Mosul, and wounded up to 40 others. The U.N. did not identify the aid workers or provide their nationalities..
(With AP and Reuters inputs)