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Kurdish Peshmerga Forces Begin Assault on Town Near Mosul to Capture it from Islamic State Fighters

Iraqi government troops, along with peshmerga forces, began an offensive to capture Mosul three weeks ago

Kurdish Peshmerga soldiers fire artillery at Islamic State positions in Bashiqa, east of Mosul, Iraq, Nov. 7, 2016. VOA

November 8, 2016: Iraqi Kurdish forces launched an offensive Monday to capture the town of Bashiqa from Islamic State fighters.

Kurdish peshmerga forces had surrounded the town for weeks ahead of the assault.

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Peshmerga Lieutenant Colonel Safeen Rasoon told Reuters that an estimated “one hundred IS fighters are inside” Bashiqa.

Artillery bombardment and airstrikes on Sunday and early Monday preceded the offensive.

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The town is about 13 kilometers northeast of Mosul, which is the largest city in Iraq still controlled by the Islamic State group.

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Iraqi government troops, along with peshmerga forces, began an offensive to capture Mosul three weeks ago. Iraqi forces entered the outer limits of the city late last week, but fighting has slowed as battles began in more densely populated parts of Mosul. (VOA)

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Indians Missing in Mosul: V.K. Singh in Iraq to Co-ordinate Search Opertion

V.K Singh will co-ordinate search operation for 39 Indian
V.K Singh will co-ordinate search operation for 39 Indians who went Missing in Mosul. IANS

New Delhi, October 27: After the government sought DNA samples from the next of kin of the 39 Indians Missing in Mosul, Iraq three years ago, Minister of State for External Affairs V.K. Singh is again visiting the country to seek an update.

External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Raveeh Kumar said on Friday that Singh’s visit “is to talk to people”.

“He has met a range of people in Iraq. And also to get an update on the 39 missing Indians in Iraq,” Kumar said in his weekly media briefing here.

He said that on Thursday Singh was in Mosul city where the Indians went missing.

Last week, the families of the 39 Indians were asked to provide their DNA samples but no reason was provided, the kin said.

It was in June 2014 that the 39 Indians, mostly from Punjab, went missing in Mosul town when it was overrun by the Islamic State. Their families continue to hope the men are alive but also fear the worst.

Singh had visited Iraq in July too in this connection.(IANS)

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