An Iraqi soldier stands guard as an Iraqi volunteers from Mosul paint on a mural contain graphics and slogans written by Islamic state group (IS), Mosul, Iraq, 30 January 2017.
Photograph: EPA/STR

Iraqi forces have killed two would-be bombers from Islamic State and seized an arms cache in a crackdown on suspected militants in the government-held eastern section of the city of Mosul, a security official said Saturday.

The area was recently recaptured from the extremist militia as part of a months-long offensive to oust the extremists from Mosul, Iraq's second-biggest city.

"A force from the anti-terrorism service killed the two suicide bombers in a raid before they could target Iraqi troops in the area of Intisar [in eastern Mosul]," Brigadier Younes al-Sherifi, an official in the elite agency, said.

He told dpa that a large cache of arms, including a launch pad for firing rockets containing poison gases and explosives, was seized in another area in eastern Mosul.

"Iraqi forces have since the morning [Saturday] mounted a massive-scale campaign in the liberated districts after the bombings that took place in Mosul," al-Sherifi added.

On Friday, 16 people, including 10 civilians, were killed in three car bombings in different places in eastern Mosul, security and health officials said.

The attacks bear the hallmarks of Islamic State, which has previously claimed deadly car bombings in Iraq.

Eastern Mosul was retaken by Iraqi forces, backed by a US-led air power, from Islamic State last month.

Iraqi forces are bracing themselves for a new offensive aimed at wresting the western part of Mosul from Islamic State's control.

The Sunni extremist group seized large chunks of Iraq's territory, including Mosul, in a 2014 blitz.

Related stories

Car bombings in Baghdad, Mosul kill at least 21

Baghdad car bombing claimed by Islamic State kills 45

Iraq busts suspected Islamic State cell near Baghdad

Iraq's Shiite militias launch offensive west of Mosul

Iraqi forces retake Mosul university from Islamic State

Latest news

Rights group: Video shows Cambodian police beating election candidate

A video posted on YouTube shows eight Cambodian paramilitary police beating a man identified as an opposition candidate at a Phnom Penh shopping mall, a rights group said Thursday. 

Malaysia asks Interpol to issue alert for suspects in N Korean death

Malaysia on Thursday requested that Interpol issue an alert for four North Koreans suspected of involvement in last week's killing of Kim Jong Nam, the estranged half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

British suspect arrested in Deutsche Telekom hacking

A 29-year-old British citizen suspected of involvement in a cyberattack that left nearly 1 million Deutsche Telekom customers without services last year has been arrested, German federal police said on Thursday.

Eight killed as bomb targets restaurant in Pakistan’s Lahore

A bomb ripped through a high-end restaurant in the Pakistani city of Lahore on Thursday, killing eight people, officials said, marking another attack amid a surge in violence by Islamist militants that has ended months of fragile calm.

Philippine court orders arrest of top Duterte critic

Senator Leila De Lima, one of the most outspoken critics of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, was on Thursday ordered arrested on illegal drug charges by a Philippine court.

Hrvatski Telekom reports 2016 net profit of HRK 934 mn

Hrvatski Telekom (HT) generated a net profit of HRK 934 million in 2016, which is 1% more than in 2015, the telecommunications company said on Thursday in a report on its financial results in 2016.

FDI in Croatia totals EUR 1.2 bn in Jan-Sept 2016

Foreign direct investment (FDI) in Croatia totalled EUR 1.227 billion in the first nine months of 2016, which is 552 million or 82% more than in the same period in 2015, analysts at Raiffeisenbank Austria (RBA) said in a report on Thursday, citing data provided by the Croatian National Bank.

Vietnam asks YouTube to block politically sensitive videos

Vietnamese authorities have demanded that YouTube block 17 videos that thez say violate the country's laws restricting speech, state media reported Thursday.

Croatian-Czech Society marks 25th anniversary

The Croatian-Czech Society (HCD) celebrated a quarter century since its foundation in Zagreb on Wednesday evening and the occasion was marked by the launch of a book, "The Croatian-Czech Society: The First 25 Years".

Trump administration reverses transgender bathroom protections

The Trump administration on Wednesday withdrew Obama-era guidance about the use of school and university bathrooms by transgender students, local media reported.

Several Dakota Access Pipeline protesters arrested as deadline passes

Several people at a camp protesting against a controversial oil pipeline in the US state of North Dakota were arrested Wednesday after a deadline to vacate the land passed, local media reported.

Germany deports 18 rejected asylum seekers to Afghanistan

A Kabul-bound plane with 18 Afghan migrants on board took off from Munich Airport late Wednesday, its passengers becoming the third group of rejected asylum seekers to be deported by German authorities back to Afghanistan.