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Toy guns banished as Iraqis celebrate peaceful Eid in Mosul

MOSUL: It has long been a tradition in Iraq's second city Mosul for young boys to celebrate the Eid al-Fitr holiday by running riot with firecrackers or toy guys -- scaring their sisters and grandparents. But nearly a year after security forces reclaimed a devastated city at the end of a brutal battle to dislodge the Islamic State group, there is little tolerance even for pretend warfare. During the three-year rule by the militants, primary school mathematics often consisted of counting bullets and grenades, while…

Iraq condemns German woman to death for belonging to ISIS

BAGHDAD: An Iraqi court said on Sunday it had condemned to death by hanging a German woman of Moroccan origin after finding her guilty of belonging to the Islamic State group. She was sentenced for providing "logistical support and helping the terrorist group to carry out crimes," said court spokesman Abdel Settar Bayraqdar. "The accused admitted during interrogations that she left Germany for Syria then Iraq to join IS with her two daughters, who married members of the terrorist organisation," he said. In September…

Iraq retakes Tal Afar and surrounding areas from IS

BAGHDAD: Iraq declared on Thursday that its forces had retaken the northern city of Tal Afar and the surrounding region in another major victory over Islamic State. IS, which seized nearly a third of Iraq in 2014 in a stunning defeat for the army, now controls just 10 percent of the country, according to the US-led international coalition against the militants. The fall of Tal Afar, located in the northern province of Nineveh, deprives IS of what was once a key supply hub between its territory in Iraq and neighbouring…

ISIS militants trying to flee Mosul disguised as women caught by Iraqi forces

MOSUL: An Iraqi Army has released pictures of Islamic State, also known as ISIS and Daesh, militants who attempted to flee Mosul disguised as women, but was caught after an embarrassing gaffe. The forces caught the militants when one of them forgot to shave off his beard and moustache. The ISIS fighter was trying to get away from the former militant stronghold as the city was recaptured, but didn't quite get his escape plan right. Dressed in women's clothes and with elaborate make-up, the bearded man forgot to…

Iraqi envoy says Pakistan helped Iraq in fighting IS militants

ISLAMABAD: As the Iraqi government has announced to have liberated Mosul from the militant Islamic State (IS) group three years after they swept into the city, Ambassador in Islamabad Yasin Muhammad Karim said that Pakistan helped Iraq to fight the militants in the city. A few hundred Islamic State insurgents took control of Mosul, the third largest city of Iraq, three years ago imposing a reign of terror and declaring a caliphate in the territory it had seized spanning large swathes of Iraq and Syria. While addressing…

More than 800,000 people still displaced from Mosul: UN

GENEVA: More than a million people were displaced from Mosul by the battle in the Iraqi city against the Islamic State group, but nearly 200,000 have returned home, the UN said Friday.  Out of nearly 1.05 million people who fled the fighting after the offensive against IS began last October, 825,000 remain displaced, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) said in a statement. The city on the Tigris river in northern Iraq had an estimated population of two million in 2014. Iraqi Prime Minister Haider…

ISIS chief reported dead after militants lose Mosul

BEIRUT: Islamic State group chief Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was reported dead on Tuesday, a day after Iraq declared it had driven the militants from their one-time biggest stronghold of Mosul. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a longtime monitor of the country's conflict, said it had information from top IS leaders confirming Baghdadi's death. The report could not be independently verified and Baghdadi has been reported dead several times. But if confirmed, his death would mark another devastating blow to the militant …