Suicide bombings hit liberated eastern Mosul
Two suicide bombings in the eastern half of the Iraqi city of Mosul, including one that hit a popular restaurant, killed at least five people on Friday and wounded over a dozen others, Iraqi military and medical officials said.
The restaurant targeted on Friday - the popular al-Sayda al-Jamila, located near a traffic circle by the same name - was among a few that had recently reopened.
Along with four people killed in the restaurant blast, at least 15 were wounded, Iraqi military and security officials said.
Shops selling clothing, mobile phones and fresh produce trucked in from nearby Irbil have recently opened their doors, though clean drinking water and other services remain in short supply in eastern Mosul.
The second attack targeted a checkpoint in eastern Mosul’s Nour neighborhood and killed one solider and wounded seven people, according to military officials.
Three soldiers were among those wounded in the checkpoint attack.
The Islamic State group, which still firmly controls western Mosul, a more densely populated urban area, claimed responsibility for the attacks.
Iraqi forces declared eastern Mosul liberated from IS weeks ago, allowing for a semblance of normalcy to slowly return to that part of the city. However periodic attacks and shelling by IS still occurs.
In a separate attack late on Friday, a parked car packed with explosives detonated on a commercial street in the Alam district of the Iraqi capital, Baghdad, killing six civilians and wounding 18, police and hospital officials said.
The massive operation to retake Mosul, Iraq's second largest city, from IS was launched in October.
Since then Iraqi forces have slowly clawed back large parts of the city, however increasingly desperate militants have attempted to increase their attacks behind battle lines.