Iraqi forces capture infamous 'mass execution' prison in Mosul

Iraqi forces capture infamous 'mass execution' prison in Mosul
The site of hundreds of murders and Yazidi slaves, Mosul's Badush prison is synonymous with suffering and captured by Iraqi troops from IS militants on Wednesday.
2 min read
08 March, 2017
Iraqi militias engaged in the assault on the IS-held prison [AFP]
Advancing Iraqi forces in Mosul have captured a notorious Islamic State group prison, where hundreds of detainees were murdered in 2014 and hundreds of Yazidi women were held.

Iraqi armour and fighters from the Popular Mobilisation Forces' militia teamed up to capture Badush prison in the west of the city, Baghdad said in a statement.

The jail held 600 detainess before they were slaughtered by IS forces in 2014 and their bodies burned.

Shortly after IS detained 500 Yazidi women in the prison, Iraqi MP Vian Dakhil said, most likely used as sex slaves by the militants.

The latest battle comes on the back of a string of victories for Iraqi forces in the city who managed to fight off a desperate IS counter-offensive on Tuesday night.

Militants used snipers and suicide car bombs during the night-time assault on government buildings recently recaptured by the Iraqi army.

Special forces spent Wednesday sweeping the newly captured government compound for the remaining IS fighters and booby traps.

Meanwhile, the Iraqi army and Shia militias also cut off a major road between west Mosul and the nearby IS-held town of Tal Afar, which is besieged by the Popular Mobilisation Forces.

The town leads to the Syrian border, which is also controlled by the militants and believed to be the hideout of IS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

Iraqi war planes have carried out air strikes on IS positions over the border in Syria, with Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi saying the strikes would continue.

The next target after taking the city centre is Mosul's Old City.

This should prove to be a more difficult task for Iraqi forces who will have to fight in a densely packed area with narrow, confined alleyways.

"The liberation of the city centre is a first and very important step for beginning the liberation of the Old City," said Lieutenant Colonel Abdulamir al-Mohammedawi of Iraq's elite Rapid Response Division.

Mosul's Old City is where Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi gave his infamous speech in 2014, when he proclaimed the establishment of the self-declared caliphate.

Hundreds of thousands of civilians remain trapped in the Old City, and likely used as human shields by the IS militants.

Agencies contributed to this story.