Iraq forces have retaken 80% of east Mosul: spokesman

Iraqi security forces advance during the fight against Daesh militants in the eastern side of Mosul, Iraq, on Jan. 10, 2017. (AP Photo/ Khalid Mohammed)
Updated 11 January 2017
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Iraq forces have retaken 80% of east Mosul: spokesman

MOSUL, Iraq: Iraqi forces have retaken at least 80 percent of east Mosul from the Islamic State jihadist group, the spokesman of the special forces spearheading the campaign said on Wednesday.
“I think you can say that we have retaken 80 to 85 percent” of the eastern side of Mosul, Sabah Al-Noman, spokesman for the Counter-Terrorism Service (CTS), told AFP in the city.
Tens of thousands of troops launched a huge offensive to retake Mosul, Daesh’s last major bastion in Iraq, and areas around it on October 17.
The initial phase of the offensive saw a variety of forces retake significant swathes of land in little time but the going has been tough inside the city itself.
After a lull in operations, the CTS and other forces stepped up their coordination and, with increased air and advisory support from a US-led coalition, launched a fresh push just before the New Year.
Over the past two weeks, Iraqi forces have overran several districts and reached the Tigris River that runs through the heart of the city for the first time.
Combined with the destruction of all bridges over the river, that has made it difficult for Daesh fighters in east Mosul to resupply or escape to the west bank, which they still fully control.
The western side of Mosul, which is home to the old city and some of the jihadists’ traditional strongholds, was always tipped as likely to offer the most resistance.


Egypt’s former anti-graft chief sentenced to 5 years in jail

Updated 24 April 2018
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Egypt’s former anti-graft chief sentenced to 5 years in jail

CAIRO: A defense lawyer says an Egyptian military court has convicted the country’s former anti-graft chief of insulting the armed forces and sentenced him to five years in prison.
Hesham Genena was arrested in February following incendiary comments he made in a television interview in which he claimed that the former chief-of-staff Sami Annan was in possession of documents incriminating the country’s “leadership.”
Annan was arrested in January shortly after he announced his intention to challenge President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi in March presidential election. He was accused of incitement against the military and forgery.
El-Sisi ran virtually unopposed, winning the election with 97 percent of the vote.
Defense lawyer Hossam Lotfy says Tuesday’s verdict against Genena will be appealed. Another defense lawyer, Ali Taha, confirmed the verdict in a Facebook posting.