Two thirds of Mosul Old City retaken from IS

Meanwhile, the United Nations has voiced alarm on at the rising death toll among civilians in the fighting.

Those civilians left in the Old City's IS-held areas face multiple dangers.

"Across Iraq, children continue to witness sheer horror and unimaginable violence", Peter Hawkins, a Unicef representative in Iraq, said in a statement.

Many civilians from the Mosul's old quarter in the western part of the city fled for their lives and arrived at the industrial zone on June 23, 2017.

Iraq Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said the historic al-Nuri mosque and its leaning minaret in Mosul will be rebuilt after liberating the city from the Islamic State (IS) militants "in a few days".

Iraqi forces, backed by global coalition, launched their final push on June 18 to drive out IS militants from al-Shifaa neighborhood and most of the densely-populated old city center in the western side of Mosul, locally known as the right bank of Tigris River.

A USA -led global coalition is providing air and ground support in the eight-month-old offensive to drive the militants from their de facto capital in Iraq.

Some of the suicides bombers blew themselves up in two houses and the rest were killed by Iraqi security forces, a police official said.

The city, once considered to be the IS group's Iraqi "capital, ' is the last urban bastion of the militants" presence in Iraq.

The government advance was carving out escape corridors for civilians marooned behind Islamic State lines.

The population density of the Old City of Mosul and its narrow streets make the latest push a very unsafe and complicated operation. Some were injured, and some had been carried on army Humvees to rear positions where they were given bananas, biscuits, and water.

The Iraqi army says it is taking every possible precaution to avoid harming civilians as it presses its offensive against the jihadists.

The fighting in Iraq has displaced more than 1.5 million children in the past three years, Unicef said.

US -supported Iraqi government offensives have wrested back several important urban centres in the country's west and north from Islamic State over the past 18 months.

By this weekend, the area still under IS control was less than 2 square km (0.77 sq miles) in extent, skirting the western bank of the Tigris River that bisects Mosul.

Iraqi forces took the eastern side from Islamic State in January, after 100 days of fighting, and started attacking the western side in February.

The U.S. -led coalition rejected the ISIL claim.

  • Leroy Wright