Iraqi policemen inspect the aftermath of a mortar and bombing attack in the Balad area, located 70 kilometers (around 45 miles) north of Baghdad, on July 8, 2016. (Photo by AFP)

At least 18 Iraqi soldiers and civilians have been killed in an explosion at a booby-trapped house in Iraq’s northern province of Nineveh.
A security source from Nineveh police told DPA news agency on Sunday that 10 Iraqi soldiers and eight civilians were killed in the explosion of the bombs that had been planted by the Daesh terrorist group inside a house in al-Awsajah Village in the district of Qayyarah in southern Mosul, 400 kilometers north of the capital, Baghdad.
Brigadier-General Mohammed al-Jabouri added that four other people were also injured in the blast.
There was no clear information about how the explosion was triggered, but it must have happened when the Iraqi soldiers and civilians entered the house, touching off the explosives.
Iraqi forces are slowly closing in on Mosul, which has been held by Daesh since June 2014. The forces are conducting operations to liberate areas near Mosul in their push to reach the city itself, which Daesh has declared as its “headquarters” in Iraq.
Meanwhile, Iraqi warplanes on Sunday dropped millions of leaflets on the cities of al-Sharqat and al-Zawya in the province of Salahuddin, which are also under the control of Daesh.
Iraq’s War Media Cell said in a statement messages on the leaflets urged civilians to immediately leave the cities or to stay away from the terrorists’ positions, which would be military targets.
The northern and western parts of Iraq have been plagued by gruesome violence ever since Daesh terrorists began their campaign of terror in the country in June 2014.
The Iraqi army and fighters from the Popular Mobilization Units have been engaged in joint operations to retake militant-held regions.

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