Team is targeted by suicide car-bomber while covering ongoing army ops to clear city of terrorist elements.
Salih Bilici - MOSUL, Iraq (AA) – An Anadolu Agency news team covering an Iraqi army operation to clear Mosul of terrorist elements -- which began early Monday -- was saved from a Daesh suicide attack when Peshmerga forces destroyed an explosives-laden car before it was able to reach them.
The team, which is there to cover unfolding events east of the city, was targeted by a suicide car-bomber while moving from the village of Tarjala to the village of Sheikh Amir alongside local journalists and Peshmerga forces.
Peshmerga forces, however, managed to destroy the vehicle before it reached the group of journalists, which included Anadolu Agency photojournalist Hamit Huseyin and cameraman Ferhat Jahan Panah.
In the wake of the blast, Peshmerga forces tightened security in the area and cleared Sheikh Amir village of all Daesh elements.
In mid-2014, Daesh captured Mosul, capital of Iraq’s northern Nineveh province, before overrunning vast swathes of territory in the country’s north and west.
Recent months have seen Iraq’s army -- backed by its local allies on the ground and a 60-nation air coalition led by the U.S. -- retake much territory.
Nevertheless, the terrorist group remains in control of several parts of the country, including Mosul.
In recent weeks, the army and its allies have staged a gradual advance on the city, which officials in Baghdad have vowed to "liberate" by year’s end.