- Title: Explosions as people leave town south of Mosul
- Date: 6th November 2016
- Summary: HAMMAM AL-ALIL, SOUTH OF MOSUL, IRAQ (NOVEMBER 6, 2016) (REUTERS) SMOKE RISING PEOPLE WALKING DOWN STREET / SOUND OF EXPLOSION / SMOKE RISING NEAR BUILDING / PEOPLE RUNNING TOWARDS BUILDING / SOUND OF SIREN PEOPLE WALKING DOWN STREET / HELICOPTER OVERHEAD SMOKE RISING PEOPLE WALKING DOWN STREET
- Embargoed: 21st November 2016 11:52
- Keywords: Iraq Mosul coalition Islamic State offensive forces blasts
- Location: HAMMAM AL-ALIL, IRAQ
- City: HAMMAM AL-ALIL, IRAQ
- Country: Iraq
- Topics: Conflicts/War/Peace,Military Conflicts
- Reuters ID: LVA00157B2HJB
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Explosions could be heard as people were leaving the Iraqi town of Hammam al-Alil on Sunday (November 6), a day after Iraqi forces drove Islamic State fighters from the centre of the town.
The town lies about 15 km south of Islamic State's main Iraqi stronghold of Mosul, which Iraqi forces are trying to take back.
People ran towards a building after an explosion close to the road people were walking down to leave the town.
On Saturday, security forces said they were in control of the centre of Hammam al-Alil, although did not say whether the militants had been pushed out completely.
The advance on the southern front comes days after Iraqi special forces fought their way into the eastern side of Mosul, taking control of six neighbourhoods according to Iraqi officials and restoring a foothold in the city for the first time since the army retreated ignominiously two years ago.
The assault on Hammam al-Alil targeted a force of at least 70 Islamic State fighters, commander of the Mosul operations Major-General Najm al-Jabouri said.
"(The battle) is very important - it's the last town for us before Mosul," Jabouri told reporters.
He said the jihadists were using hundreds of people as human shields, although it was not clear how many civilians were left in the town.
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