Street-to-street fighting rages for the second day in a row between Daesh militants and security forces in Kirkuk.
Salih Bilici - KIRKUK, Iraq (AA) – Daesh snipers have turned Iraq’s northern city of Kirkuk into a ghost city amid an ongoing operation to oust the militant group from the city of Mosul.
Street-to-street fighting raged for the second day in a row between Daesh militants and security forces in Kirkuk.
According to an Anadolu Agency correspondent, local residents and journalists were stuck inside their homes and are unable to go outside because of Daesh snipers.
Residents of the June 1, Esra Mahkudin and Dumiz neighborhoods in the city are anxiously awaiting for security forces to clear the militants from their areas, the correspondent said.
He said residents who find any chance to go out immediately flee to the nearby provinces of Erbil and Sulaymaniyah.
Scores of Daesh militants killed
General Director of Kirkuk Police Forces, Khattab Omar said in news conference on Saturday that a total of 48 Daesh militants were killed in the clashes.
Kurdish-populated neighborhoods at the city's north and east are currently considered “safe zones” as no clashes have been reported in these areas.
On Friday, at least 17 people were killed and scores injured in a spate of Daesh suicide bombings in Kirkuk’s city center.
Last week, the Iraqi army, backed by U.S.-led coalition airstrikes, launched a much-anticipated offensive to retake Mosul, Iraq’s second largest city which was overrun by the militant group in 2014.Recent months have seen the Iraqi army, backed by local allies on the ground and a U.S.-led air coalition, retake much territory seized by Daesh in 2014. Nevertheless, the terrorist group remains in control of several parts of the country, including Mosul.