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Kurdish forces free nine villages from IS militants near Iraq’s Mosul

Iraqi security forces recaptured nine villages from the Islamic State militant group as part of a major offensive aimed at liberating the city of Mosul

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Baghdad, October 17, 2016: Iraqi security forces on Monday recaptured nine villages from the Islamic State militant group as part of a major offensive aimed at liberating the city of Mosul, the last major IS stronghold in Iraq, security sources said.

Kurdish Peshmerga forces began their advance after midnight from their positions in Khazer area, some 40 km east of Mosul, toward Nineveh’s provincial capital of Mosul, and managed to recapture the nine villages after the IS militants abandoned their positions, Xinhua quoted a a security source as saying.

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The Iraqi army, Peshmerga forces and allied paramilitary Sunni and Shia Hashd Shaabi units have been advancing gradually from four directions after Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi announced the launch of the long-awaited offensive to free Mosul from the IS, the source said.

The joint forces, backed by the international and Iraqi air cover, continued their advance during the day to free many areas around Mosul, including the towns of Bashiqa and Himdaniyah, the source said.

Nawfal Hammadi al-Sultan, Governor of Nineveh province, appealed to the people of Mosul to stay inside their homes and cooperate with the security forces.

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Sultan demanded that the residents stay away from the IS headquarters and their positions to avoid civilian casualties.

In the early hours of the day, al-Abadi, who is also the commander-in-chief of the Iraqi forces, announced the beginning of a major offensive to retake the country’s second largest city from the extremist group.

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“I declare the launch of the operation of liberating Nineveh province. The time of victory has come, and the moment of the great victory is approaching,” Abadi said.

Abadi pledged to rebuild Mosul and other towns in Nineveh after they were destroyed by the IS, and vowed to bring stability.

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“Very soon, we will be with you to raise the flag of Iraq in the middle of Mosul, and in towns and villages as well,” Abadi said, calling on the people of Mosul to cooperate with security forces to defeat the IS.

Mosul, some 400 km north of the Iraqi capital of Baghdad, has been under IS control since June 2014, when Iraqi government forces abandoned their weapons and fled, enabling the IS militants to take control of parts of the country’s northern and western regions. (IANS)

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FIFA World Cup 2018: Indian Cuisine becomes the most sought after in Moscow

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Indian cuisine in FIFA World cup
Indian dishes available in Moscow during FIFA World Cup 2018, representational image, wikimedia commons

June 17, 2018:

Restaurateurs Prodyut and Sumana Mukherjee have not only brought Indian cuisine to the ongoing FIFA World Cup 2018 here but also plan to dish out free dinner to countrymen if Argentina wins the trophy on July 15.

Based in Moscow for the last 27 years, Prodyut and Sumana run two Indian eateries, “Talk Of The Town” and “Fusion Plaza”.

You may like to read more on Indian cuisine: Indian ‘masala’, among other condiments spicing up global food palate.

Both restaurants serve popular Indian dishes like butter chicken, kebabs and a varied vegetarian spread.

During the ongoing FIFA World Cup 2018, there will be 25 per cent discount for those who will possess a Fan ID (required to watch World Cup games).

There will also be gifts and contests on offers during matches in both the restaurants to celebrate the event.

The Mukherjees, hailing from Kolkata, are die-hard fans of Argentina. Despite Albiceleste drawing 1-1 with Iceland in their group opener with Lionel Messi failing to sparkle, they believe Jorge Sampaoli’s team can go the distance.

“I am an Argentina fan. I have booked tickets for a quarterfinal match, a semifinal and of course the final. If Argentina goes on to lift

During the World Cup, there will be 25 per cent discount for those who will possess a Fan ID (required to watch World Cup games).

There will also be gifts and contests on offers during matches in both the restaurants to celebrate the event.

FIFA World Cup 2018 Russia
FIFA World Cup 2018, Wikimedia Commons.

“We have been waiting for this World Cup. Indians come in large numbers during the World Cup and we wanted these eateries to be a melting point,” he added.

According to Cutting Edge Events, FIFA’s official sales agency in India for the 2018 World Cup, India is amongst the top 10 countries in terms of number of match tickets bought.

Read more about Indian cuisine abroad: Hindoostane Coffee House: London’s First Indian Restaurant.

Prodyut came to Moscow to study engineering and later started working for a pharmaceutical company here before trying his hand in business. Besides running the two restaurants with the help of his wife, he was into the distribution of pharmaceutical products.

“After Russia won the first match of the World Cup, the footfall has gone up considerably. The Indians are also flooding in after the 6-9 p.m. game. That is the time both my restaurants remain full,” Prodyut said.

There are also plans to rope in registered fan clubs of Latin American countries, who will throng the restaurants during matches and then follow it up with after-game parties till the wee hours.

“I did get in touch with some of the fan clubs I had prior idea about. They agreed to come over and celebrate the games at our joints. Those will be gala nights when both eateries will remain open all night for them to enjoy,” Prodyut said.

Watching the World Cup is a dream come true for the couple, Sumana said.

“We want to make the Indians who have come here to witness the spectacle and feel at home too. We always extend a helping hand and since we are from West Bengal, we make special dishes for those who come from Bengal,” she added. (IANS)