By Times Headline Writer
DUBLIN: Ireland is investigating reports that an Irish citizen blew himself up in a suicide attack near the Iraqi city of Mosul, a spokesman said on Saturday.
A Daesh statement said on Friday Abu Usama Al-Irelandi detonated an explosive-laden vehicle, killing and wounding dozens, the SITE Intelligence Group, a US company that monitors radical websites, reported.
Abu Usama is a pseudonym used by Irish Daesh sympathizer Terence Kelly. Pictures posted by Daesh sympathizers on Twitter showed a man resembling Kelly posing with a gun in front of an armored car.
“The martyrdom-seeking brother Abu Usama Al-Irelandi — may Allah accept him — set off with and detonated his explosives-laden vehicle on another gathering of apostates, in Aghazil Al-Kabir village, south of Tal Afar, killing and wounding dozens of them, and destroying several of their vehicles,” SITE quoted the Daesh statement as saying.
Separately, two roadside bombs struck a convoy carrying Iraqi families fleeing a Daesh-controlled town in the north of the country late on Friday, killing 18 people, a police officer said.
The bombs targeted a truck carrying people from Hawija, about 120 km south of Daesh’s stronghold in Mosul, as they were being taken to the town of Al Alam, next to the Tigris river. Seventeen of the dead were from the displaced families, regional police Col. Nemaa Al-Jabouri said. One policeman in an accompanying patrol car was also killed.
New satellite images show that Daesh militia in Mosul has set up daunting defenses designed to bog down advancing forces.
The images taken Monday and made public by Saturday by Texas-based private intelligence firm Stratfor, show rows of concrete barricades, earthen berms and rubble blocking key routes leading to the core of the city.
Militants have also cleared terrain and leveled buildings around Mosul airport and a nearby former military base on the west bank of the Tigris. The group likely did so to create a wall to better target Iraqi forces and give them open spaces to fire on advancing troops from further away, according to Stratfor.
With inputs from news agencies