SECONDS FROM DETONATION: FEMALE SUICIDE BOMBER HOLDING HER BABY IS PICTURED MOMENTS BEFORE SHE BLEW THE TWO OF THEM UP IN MOSUL IN A BID TO SLAUGHTER SOLDIERS
A photograph has emerged of a Mosul woman cradling her baby as she seemingly tries to escape the fighting that has ravaged her city.
However on further inspection it becomes apparent the Burka clad woman is also holding a detonator.
The picture was taken moments before the suicide bomber blew herself up, with her baby in her arms, as she walked past Iraqi troops.
The woman was walking out of a newly liberated area of the city with a group of fleeing civilians holding a trigger, bags and a young infant in her arms.
She had apparently tried to detonate the explosives as she passed the soldiers, but the bomb failed to go off until she had walked some distance away, a cameraman for local al-Mawsleya TV said.
She, her child and two soldiers were killed, several civilians were also injured in the blast.
Iraqi authorities are close to announcing the defeat of ISIS in the city whose territory has been cut to just 600 square metres over the past couple of days.
Troops are currently facing off with 200 ISIS soldiers and a selection of suicide bomber wives who are currently making a last stand in the ancient city.
ISIS’s Amaq news agency reported ‘fierce fighting’ around the riverside district of Maydan and said its fighters ‘were holding onto their fortified positions’.
‘The fighters of Islamic State are collectively pledging (to fight to the) death in Maydan,’ Amaq said in another online post.
More than 20 female suicide bombers hiding among civilians are believed to have detonated explosives in the last two weeks.
One general claimed they were even using their own children as human shields.
‘The women are fighting with their children right beside them,’ Lieutenant General Sami al-Aridi said. ‘It’s making us hesitant to use air strikes, to advance. If it weren’t for this we could be finished in just a few hours.’
Preventing the attacks has proved difficult. Iraq’s socially conservative culture means soldiers do not ask women to lift up their clothes to check for explosives as they do men.
Government forces backed by the US-led coalition have been trying to drive out the terror group from the strategic city since October.
This morning they killed 35 ISIS jihadis and wounded six others while advancing into the Old City neighbourhood.
It is thought that just a few hundred militants remain in a confined area overlooking the Tigris River – which divides the city’s east and west.
Iraqi authorities will imminently announce a final victory in the battle to recapture Mosul from the Islamic State group, a US general said Saturday.
‘An announcement is imminent,’ Baghdad-based Brigadier General Robert Sofge told AFP.
‘I don’t want to speculate if it’s today or tomorrow but I think it’s going to be very soon,’ he added.