Up to 20,000 civilians are trapped in the last Islamic State group-held areas in Mosul's Old City, which Iraqi forces are battling to retake, a senior UN official said Thursday.
Iraqi forces battled the last Islamic State group holdouts in Mosul on Wednesday, a day after the country's premier feted the "major victory" over the jihadists in the northern city.
The leaning minaret of Mosul's Grand al-Nuri Mosque survived conquests by the Mongols and the Ottomans, neglect under Saddam Hussein, and air raids during the Iran-Iraq War and the US invasion in 2003.
Iraqi government forces attacked Islamic State's remaining redoubt in Mosul's Old City on Friday, a day after formally declaring the end of the insurgents' self-declared caliphate and the capture of the historic mosque which symbolized their power.
After eight months of grinding urban warfare, Iraqi government troops on Thursday captured the ruined mosque in Mosul from where Islamic State proclaimed its self-styled caliphate three years ago, the Iraqi military said.
Iraqi troops have captured Mosul's al-Faruq neighborhood, in the northwestern side of the Old City, from Islamic State militants, the military said.
Iraqi forces opened exit routes for hundreds of civilians to flee the Old City of Mosul on Saturday as they battled to retake the ancient quarter from Islamic State militants mounting a last stand in what was the de facto capital of their "caliphate".
Journalist Veronique Robert, wounded in the same landmine blast that killed two colleagues in the Iraqi city of Mosul earlier this week, has died, employers France Televisions announced Saturday.
US-backed Iraqi forces on Wednesday began a push towards the mosque in Mosul where Islamic State declared a self-styled caliphate three years ago, military officials said.
Iraq's army said it encircled Islamic State's stronghold in the Old City of Mosul on Tuesday after taking over an area to the north of the densely populated historic district.
An Iraqi journalist was killed and three French reporters were wounded after a mine exploded in Mosul, where they were covering an advance by Iraqi forces against Islamic State militants, France 2 television and a diplomatic source said on Monday.