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

Eric Trump used a famous line of his father’s at the opening of a second Turnberry golf course

Ex-Court of Appeal judge to lead Grenfell Tower inquiry

US demands more security on incoming international flights

Italy threatens to close ports to some migrant rescue ships


Lifestyle

Hand of Fate: Have faith in the hand you are dealt

Sean O’Hagan returns to 'cosmopolitan' Cork

Nude dating show Naked Attraction will see singletons revealing a lot about themselves

'Everybody cheats on everybody': Technology and its impact on human behaviour

More From The Irish Examiner