Iraqi troops push into area around symbolic Mosul mosque

Iraqi government forces have pushed into the area around a highly symbolic mosque in western Mosul where the Islamic State group's leader made his first and only public appearance.

Black smoke billowed from the area around al-Nuri mosque, also known as the Great Mosque, on Sunday as helicopters hovered overhead and fired into the militants' positions.

At least two large mushroom clouds were seen rising from what is believed to be suicide car bomb explosions as gunfire rattled.

The IS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi delivered a Friday sermon in al-Nuri mosque in July 2014 after the extremist group seized almost a third of Iraq and declared an Islamic "Caliphate" on territory it controlled in Iraq and neighbouring Syria.

- AP

Email Updates

Receive our lunchtime briefing straight to your inbox

More in this Section

French forces kill 20 Jihadists in Mali forest

Emmanuel Macron honours Holocaust victims and vows 'never again'

Crash between two sports cars causes chaos on motorway

Two injured in 'freak accident' at classic car show


Lifestyle

Being liberated from secrets is the best thing to happen to Caitlyn Jenner

Discussing Jane Austen's talent and legacy on the 200th anniversary of her death

Angel Olsen is the indie heroine we desperately need

Design/life: Leonie Cornelius, garden designer and interior architect

More From The Irish Examiner