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Islamic State Launches Chlorine Gas Attack on Iraqi Troops in Mosul: Iraq

An Iraqi military officer says Islamic State militants have launched a gas attack in a newly-liberated area in western Mosul.

Associated Press

Updated:April 15, 2017, 10:25 PM IST
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Islamic State Launches Chlorine Gas Attack on Iraqi Troops in Mosul: Iraq
Image for representation only. (Photo: Reuters)

Baghdad: An Iraqi military officer says Islamic State militants have launched a gas attack in a newly-liberated area in western Mosul.

The officer with the anti-terrorism forces said on Saturday that the attack occurred the night before in the al-Abar neighbourhood, when IS fired a rocked loaded with chlorine.

He said seven soldiers suffered breathing problems and were treated in a nearby field clinic.

The officer spoke on condition of anonymity as he was not authorised to release information.

US-backed Iraqi forces are currently battling IS militants in the more densely-populated western half of Mosul. Iraqi officials say more than half of western Mosul has been retaken.

The extremists were driven out of the eastern half of Mosul, Iraq's second-largest city, in January.

ALSO READ: Syrian Government Forces Accused of Carrying Out Gas Attack in Idlib Region

Destruction in fight to take west Mosul worse than east: UN

The United Nations says destruction from the Iraqi military operation to retake western Mosul from the Islamic State group is two-and-a-half times greater than it was in eastern Mosul, retaken earlier this year.

Using satellite imagery and information from local researchers, the UN said in a news release Thursday it found more than 1,140 housing sites have been destroyed in western Mosul, even though only about half have been retaken by Iraqi forces.

Lise Grande, UN Iraq humanitarian coordinator, says: "The level of damage in western Mosul is already far greater than in the east, even before the battle to retake the Old City begins."

Analysts say Iraqi forces deployed in the west have less experience in urban battle and are trying to keep casualties down by relying on heavy firepower.

ALSO READ: Islamic State Punching Holes in Mosul Homes, Charging 'Hole Fee' Too

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