JEDDAH: This image might seem like any other coming from war-torn Mosul, but moments after it was taken, the woman detonated the explosive device she was carrying, killing herself, the child she held in her arms and two soldiers.
She was walking out of a newly liberated part of the city along with a group of civilians. She was carrying bags, a young child and the trigger device in her right hand, UK website MailOnline reported.
According to a local film crew from Al-Mawsleya TV, the woman had apparently tried to detonate the device as she passed a group of soldiers, but it failed to go off. It was only when she walked further away that the bomb exploded.
The Iraqi military is close to declaring victory over Daesh, but the suicide attack was a tragic reminder of the danger all in Mosul will continue to face.
Daesh’s Amaq news agency reported that: “The fighters of Islamic State (Daesh) are collectively pledging (to fight to the) death in Maydan.”
Among those fighters, it is believed that more than 20 female suicide bombers have carried out attacks while hiding among civilians, MailOnline reported.
“The women are fighting with their children right beside them,” Lt. Gen. 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.”
Women suicide bombers are tending to get closer to their intended targets because the Iraqi army will not tell them to lift their clothes, to reveal any concealed devices.
On Sunday troops in Mosul were just meters away from defeating Daesh, but troops were jubilant, the mood was less than festive among the nearly 1 million people who have been displaced, with many living in refugee camps littered around the city and surrounding area.
“If there is no rebuilding and people don’t return to their homes and regain their belongings, what is the meaning of liberation?” Mohammed Haji Ahmed, 43, a clothing trader, said in the Hassan Sham camp to the east of Mosul.
And there is concern at the apparent lack of a post-battle plan on how to rebuild and govern the city.