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Iraqi Red Crescent, Special Forces Distributed Humanitarian Aid near Mosul

Iraqi Red Crescent workers and Iraqi Special Forces delivered humanitarian aid to residents fleeing Mosul on Thursday.

On a donkey-drawn wood cart, one grieving family carried the body of their 18-year-old relative, wrapped in a white plastic bag.

The killed teen's uncle, Muhammad Khalil Izmail, said his nephew was in the street when a mortar shell landed nearby, wounding him fatally in the head.

Due to poor weather and cloudy skies, Iraq Special Forces on Thursday paused temporarily in their push into the northern city of Mosul but still faced deadly attacks by the Islamic State group that killed at least seven civilians and two soldiers.

Iraqi forces launched the long-awaited operation to retake Mosul nearly a month ago but have only advanced into a few eastern districts.

The troops have faced fierce resistance, with snipers, mortar fire and suicide bombers driving armor-plated vehicles packed with explosives.

After swift initial advances into the city's outskirts, the offensive slowed in more densely populated areas, where Iraqi troops cannot rely as much on airstrikes and shelling because of the risk posed to civilians, who have been told to stay in their homes.

Mosul, Iraq's second largest city, is the last major IS holdout in the country. Driving the militants out of Mosul would deal a severe blow to their self-styled caliphate stretching into Syria.

Source: Al Alam

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