"After hours of fierce house-to-house battles, the troops seized some alleys and took new positions in the old city located some 100 meters away from al-Nuri mosque", the source said.
Militants of Daesh terrorist group (banned in Russia) have blown up the main mosque of the city of Mosul, the Iraqi army said in a statement Wednesday.
Amaq, the IS news agency, blamed the destruction on a United States airstrike.
The mosque was named after Nuruddin al-Zanki, a noble who fought the early crusaders from a fiefdom that covered territory in modern-day Turkey, Syria and Iraq.
Islamic State's Amaq news agency accused American aircraft of destroying the mosque, a claim swiftly denied by the USA -led global coalition fighting the hardline Sunni group.
Staff Lieutenant General Abdulamir Yarallah, the overall commander of the Mosul offensive, said in a statement that Isis destroyed the mosque and iconic leaning minaret by detonating explosives inside the mosque. At least 150 civilians were reportedly murdered by ISIS in the advance on the mosque, trying to flee to the security of Iraqi forces.
Hart Trophy Winner: Connor McDavid
McDavid, Crosby and San Jose's Brent Burns also are up for the Ted Lindsay Award as most outstanding player as voted by peers. Ottawa goalie Craig Anderson won the Bill Masterton Trophy for perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey.
India to Become Most Populous Country in the World by 2024
The post Nigeria to become 3rd most populous country by 2050 - United Nations report appeared first on Vanguard News . As a result, 26 countries in Africa are projected to at least double in size by 2050.
IShares MSCI Hong Kong Index Fund (IHK.AX) Moves 1.50%
In defiance of Moody's surprise move, Chinese stocks even closed higher and shrugged off the fresh credit concerns. For global equity funds, China only represents 3 percent of global equity funds right now in terms of weighting.
It was in the mosque that Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the Islamic State's leader, made his only public appearance three years ago, declaring himself "commander of the faithful" and calling on all Muslims to travel to the group's self-declared caliphate.
By the time Moroccan scholar and traveler Ibn Battuta visited the mosque in the 14th century, the minaret had already acquired its distinctive lean and nickname.
Earlier this week, Iraqi forces dropped almost 500,000 leaflets over the city, urging civilians to stay indoors and escape if they can.
The U.S. -led coalition is providing air and ground support to the Mosul offensive that started on October 17.
The UN children's agency UNICEF said tens of thousands of children were among civilians trapped in the Old City, with many survivors left traumatised.
The International Committee of the Red Cross said on Monday sick and wounded civilians escaping through Islamic State lines were dying in "high numbers. I suspect you feel deserted and you know this is only going to end one way", he added. But ISIS blowing it up is being interpreted as the group acknowledging it will lose Mosul.