'Fight to the death': snipers slow down Iraqi forces in Mosul's Old City

By Ulf Laessing MOSUL, Iraq (Reuters) – Taking aim through a telescope on his rifle, the police officer opened fire on an Islamic State sniper from the top floor of a tower in Mosul before quickly pulling back to take cover. “Hit the sniper at the mosque,” his commanding officer told him as he aimed at his target in the Old City, one of the only districts still in the militants’ hands in their last major urban stronghold in Iraq. Iraqi forces are trying to advance through the narrow, maze-like streets toward the symbolic al-Nuri mosque, where Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi declared a caliphate in 2014.

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