Grisly scene in Iraq: ‘See these children? See what’s left from the mortar?’
- A mortar attack outside a school in Mosul leaves 17 dead, police say
- The dead are families who were trying to flee fighting, police say
- Nearly 500,000 people are estimated to have been displaced this year
(CNN) — Broken bodies of children. A dead mother. A wailing father.
That was the scene outside of a school in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul, where authorities said more than 100 people were killed Friday in fighting between security forces and al Qaeda-backed Sunni fighters.
The fighting follows news a day earlier that militants tried to take control of the city of Samarra to the south, violence spurred in part by an escalating conflict between Iraq’s majority Shiite government and a Sunni minority who claim they are disenfranchised.
The violence has left hundreds dead in recent months, raising fears it could return Iraq to the level of violence in 2006 and 2007, when bodies littered the streets.
Nearly 500,000 people are estimated to have been displaced this year in fighting, primarily in the Sunni-dominated Anbar province, the United Nations refugee agency said Friday.
But that number is expected to climb, said Adrian Edwards, the spokesman for the U.N. High Commissioner on Refugees.
On Friday, Hares Hammadi al-Bajari was among dozens trying to flee the fighting in Mosul, where militants were attacking police stations and security checkpoints.
Gunmen storm Iraqi university while militants, security forces clash in Mosul
Gunmen stormed an Iraqi university in Ramadi, briefly taking hostages before withdrawing from the school amid gunfire. In the northern city of Mosul, fighting between security forces and militants has killed dozens.
Insurgents from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) attacked Anbar University on Saturday, killing guards and blowing up a bridge leading to its main gate, police and state TV said. After taking students and staff hostage, security forces surrounded the building and reportedly exchanged gunfire with the militants.
The government forces “liberated all of the male and female student hostages from the dormitories in Anbar University” and retook control of entrance checkpoints, Deputy Interioir Minister Adnan al-Assadi told the AFP news agency in an emailed statement.
Al-Assadi did not say whether captured university staff had also been rescued, but state broadcaster Iraqiya reported all hostages had been freed.
The central city of Ramadi, where Anbar University is located, was one of two cities that were overrun at the beginning of the year by tribal and Sunni insurgents, including the ISIL. Security forces control central Ramadi, where government and city council offices are located, but outlying areas have often fallen under militant control.
Nearly 480,000 people have been forced to leave their homes in Anbar province in the past six months, the United Nations has said.
10 Islamists sentenced to death in Egypt
CAIRO — An Egyptian court sentenced 10 Islamist supporters of ousted President Mohammed Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood movement to death in absentia Saturday on charges of inciting violence and blocking a road last July.
Judge Hassan Fareed, presiding over a court in the Nile Delta town of Banha, referred the sentence to the Grand Mufti, the highest Islamic authority in Egypt, a legal requirement usually considered a formality.
Clashes in northern Iraq kill 59
Clashes between Iraqi security forces and militants killed 59 people in Mosul on Saturday, as heavy fighting in the northern city entered its second day, officials said.
MOSUL: Clashes between Iraqi security forces and militants killed 59 people in Mosul on Saturday, as heavy fighting in the northern city entered its second day, officials said.
The dead comprised 21 police and 38 militants, a police lieutenant colonel and a mortuary employee said.
Fighting broke out in Mosul on Friday morning and continued into the night, while twin suicide bombings targeted a minority group east of the city and soldiers shot dead suicide bombers to the south.
At least 36 people were killed in Friday’s violence in Mosul and elsewhere in Nineveh province.