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Peshmerga Fighters Seize Key Town From IS To Northeast Of Mosul


Iraqi Kurdish Peshmerga forces stand on a military vehicle in the town of Bashiqa, east of Mosul, during an operation to attack Islamic State militants in Mosul, on November 7.

Iraqi Kurdish forces have recaptured a town to the northeast of Mosul that had been held by Islamic State (IS) militants for two years.

Around 2,000 Peshmerga fighters entered the town of Bashiqa shortly after dawn on November 7.

Bashiqa, which is about 13 kilometers northeast of Mosul, has been on the front line between Kurdish Peshmerga fighters and IS militants since 2014.

The battle to recapture the city has been a key strategic goal of Peshmerga fighters taking part part in a wider campaign to liberate the IS-held city of Mosul.

Lieutenant Colonel Safeen Rasoul told Reuters there were about 100 militants still left in Bashiqa early on November 7.

IS fighters were confronting the Peshmerga's advance into Bashiqa with suicide car bomb attacks.

Iraqi government troops, meanwhile, were continuing an urban battle against IS fighters in eastern Mosul and were advancing on the north and south sides of the city on November 7, while Iranian-backed Shi'ite militia battled against IS fighters to the west of Mosul.

Meanwhile, Iraq’s military says troops found have about 100 decapitated bodies in a mass grave to the south of city.

Iraqi Brigadier General Yahya Rasool said the bodies were discovered on November 7 near an agricultural college in the town of Hamam al-Alil.

He said most of the bodies were reduced to skeletons and that decomposition of their clothes and bodies made it difficult to determine if they were soldiers or civilians.

Based on reporting by Reuters, AP, and AFP