World Bulletin / News Desk
“Twelve Iraqi soldiers were hurt to varying degrees,” Army Major Abdel Wahab Abu Raghif said.
According to the officer, three gun-mounted pickup trucks were captured during the melee, along with a number of light and medium weapons.
While the two areas had been “entirely liberated” by Iraqi forces, Abu Raghif said, they still had to be cleared of a system of tunnels and bunkers used by ISIL fighters.
Earlier Tuesday, Federal Police Commander Raed Jawdat officially announced the recapture of the two districts.
In a related development, four Iraqi rapid-response personnel (affiliated with the Interior Ministry) were killed Monday evening when ISIL militants shelled their positions in central Mosul’s Bab al-Toub district, Ahmed al-Jubouri, a colonel in the army’s Nineveh Operations Command, told Anadolu Agency.
In mid-February, Iraqi forces -- backed by a U.S.-led air coalition -- began fresh operations aimed at dislodging ISIL terrorists from western Mosul.
The offensive came as part of a wider campaign launched last October to retake the entire city, which ISIL overran in mid-2014.
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