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Police killed during Mosul attack by Islamic State

By Qassim Abdul-Zahra

More than 100 Islamic State militants launched an audacious counter-attack in Mosul at dawn yesterday, killing 11 federal police and four civilians, Iraqi security officials said.

The wide-scale assault - which was reported to have lasted several hours - underscored the extremist group's resilience in the Iraqi city, despite months of heavy fighting with Iraqi forces backed by US air power.

The militants first sneaked into the western Dandan neighbourhood at dawn from the Tigris River and took over a mosque, where they used loudspeakers to announce the assault and shouted "God is greatest!" before it was bombed from the air, according to an army officer and a police officer.

Then the militants moved to the adjacent neighbourhoods of Dawasa and Nabi Sheet, breaking into houses, clashing with security forces and seizing a Humvee and other weapons.

IS boasted about the attack in a statement released online.

US-backed Iraqi forces have been battling the extremists in Mosul, the country's second largest city, since October.

The militants are now largely confined to a few neighbourhoods.

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