Baghdad: The bodies of 21 policemen who were executed by militants have been found in Iraq’s northern city of Mosul, capital of Nineveh province, as fierce battles continue for the second day, a provincial police source said Saturday.
“The police found the bodies of 19 policemen and two officers who were kidnapped Friday,” Xinhua cited the source as saying.
On Friday, dozens of militants took control of several neighbourhoods in western Mosul and fought fierce clashes with the Iraqi forces, that led to the killing of up to 35 security personnel, five civilians and 30 militants.
Nineveh’s Operations Command in a statement ordered residents of the western neighbourhoods in Mosul to stay at homes as the helicopter gun-ships started airstrikes on positions of Militant groups believed to be associated with the Islamic State in Iraq and Levant, an al-Qaida breakaway group in Iraq.
Top Iraqi military officers arrived in Mosul in the morning to command the battles against the militants, the source said.
Meanwhile, dozens of families left their homes from the western Mosul to safer neighbourhoods because of the bombings and clashes, in addition to the power cuts and water supplies, the source added.
Iraq is witnessing some of its worst violence in recent years.
According to the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq, a total of 8,868 Iraqis, including 7,818 civilians and civilian police personnel, were killed in 2013, the highest annual death toll in years.