World Bulletin / News Desk
"A ISIL suicide bomber drove an explosive-laden car into a concentration of Iraqi soldiers as they advanced into Mosul’s southwestern Al-Wahda neighborhood," Army Colonel Ahmed al-Jabouri told Anadolu Agency.
"The bomber was killed along with seven soldiers," he added.
In a related development the same day, Major-General Abdel Wahab al-Saadi of Iraq’s anti-extremism agency said that Iraqi forces had managed to "liberate" 43 districts of western Mosul since the campaign to recapture the city began last October.
He went on to stress that a wide-ranging operation was still underway aimed at purging all districts of western Mosul of extremist elements.
The Iraqi military, backed by U.S.-led coalition warplanes and local allies on the ground, is currently engaged in a major offensive aimed at ejecting ISIL from Mosul, which the extremist group overran in mid-2014.
Since the operation began some two and a half months ago, Iraqi forces have reportedly established control over more than a quarter of Mosul, once considered Iraq’s second largest city in terms of population.
Despite initial predictions that the city would be fully retaken by year’s end, Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi said last week that at least three more months would be needed to decisively extirpate ISIL from Iraq.