At least 90 civilians were reportedly killed in deadly clashes between Iraqi forces and Daesh militants in western Mosul.
An Iraqi Rapid Response officer said the victims had been caught in the fight between the militants and Iraqi forces trying to capture Al-Thawra district in the city's western side.
"Scores of dead bodies are still trapped under the debris of destroyed houses," the officer told Anadolu Agency, requesting anonymity due to restrictions on speaking to media. The officer went on to accuse Iraqi forces "of paying less attention to the safety of civilians" during the anti-Daesh fight. "The forces insist on advancing into civilian areas, especially after sustaining losses in the confrontations against Daesh militants," he said.
According to the Iraqi officer, Daesh militants have taken scores of hostages while fleeing Al-Thawra district, which Iraqi forces captured from Daesh on Thursday. In February, Iraqi ground forces backed by U.S.-led coalition air power began fresh operations to expel Daesh militants from western Mosul, the terrorist group's last stronghold in northern Iraq.
The ongoing offensive is part of a wider campaign launched last October with the aim of retaking the entire city, which Daesh overran in mid-2014.