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"We believe that some 300 Daesh (IS group) militants are fighting in a small area near the Tigris River in Mosul's Old City", Maj.

On June 17, Russian Federation reported that its forces might have been killed Al-Baghdadi in an air strike, but the US government said that it has no information to corroborate such reports. NBC News couldn't verify these accounts.

'They just shave their beards and walk out, ' al-Aridi said. Although the northern city of Mosul was Daesh's main stronghold in Iraq, it is not its only base. Some simply advocate the group's extreme interpretation of Islam and support it with money, he said.

Iraqi forces launched an operation to retake the Old City neighborhood in mid-June and after a dawn push last Thursday, they retook the area around the al-Nuri Mosque, which the militants had blown up just a few days earlier. It was here, almost three years ago to the day, that it declared the founding of its "caliphate" over parts of Iraq and Syria.

"The return of Nuri mosque and minaret of Hadba today after being [destroyed] by ISIS marks the end of Daesh State falsehood", said al-Abadi, referring to the group's name in Arabic.

A soldier displayed the school ID card retrieved from the body of one of the bombers, showing her to be only 15. The US-backed operation to retake the city was launched last October and has lasted nearly nine months.

Photos show the devastation left behind after a long offensive, as hundreds of civilians are fleeing, many so badly injured they have had to be carried over the mounds of rubble that clog the old city's narrow streets.

Iraqi Special Forces soldiers gather before advancing against Islamic State militants in the Old City of Mosul, Iraq, Sunday, July 2, 2017.

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Militants had also conducted targeted killings including the assassination of two mayors in the east of the city, he said.

"The battle will end in five days to a week", Aridhi said.

The girl, now living in the Hamam al Alil camp for displaced people, said that "when someone scares me, I freeze". Russian Federation said on June 17 its forces might have killed him in an air strike in Syria. Three of whom were released the following week.

"We congratulate the Iraqi army and volunteer forces in their victory over the ISIL terrorists", Qassemi said on Friday night.

Al-Juburi said corruption is widespread.

Is ISIS finished as an organisation, and have those who spread terror in its name been defanged? The soldiers fatally shot numerous terrorists before their ammunition ran out and they were forced to use hand-to-hand combat.

"Most of the bombers are foreigners from Arab countries who joined Isis in Iraq", he added.


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