MOSUL, Iraq, Jan. 3 (Xinhua) -- Iraqi security forces on Tuesday fought fierce clashes with Islamic State (IS) group in the city of Mosul and retook control of the industrial area and a neighborhood in the sixth day of a renewed push to seize the eastern part of the city, the Iraqi military said.
In the eastern front of the city, members of the Counter-Terrorism Service (CTS) continued their heavy fighting and advance and managed to recapture the vast industrial area and raised the Iraqi flag on its buildings as well as the buildings of the nearby flour mill, silo and commercial complex, a statement by the Iraqi Joint Operations Command said.
The CTS troops, backed by the U.S.-led coalition aircraft, fought back an IS counter-attack during the day, leaving 75 IS militants killed and destroying three booby-trapped cars along with seizing two bomb-making sites, the statement said.
In southeastern part of the city, the federal police and soldiers of the 9th Armored Division fought fierce clashes with IS militants and recaptured al-Mithaq neighborhood, according to the statement.
The troops also continued their slow advance in the nearby neighborhoods of al-Salam, Palestine, al-Shaimaa and Wahda, recapturing several buildings, the statement said.
During the day, IS militants carried out counter-attacks against the troops in southeastern Mosul, but the troops repelled their attacks, leaving some 93 militants killed and destroying seven booby-trapped vehicles and two bomb-making sites, according to the statement.
In northern front, the soldiers of the army's 16th Division, backed by the international aircraft, repelled another attack by the extremist militants, leaving 11 militants killed, the statement said.
The battles in Mosul came as the elite CTS forces, army troops and federal police launched on Thursday morning the second phase of a major offensive to free Mosul, and the troops made their new push into several neighborhoods in the eastern side of Mosul, locally known as the left bank of the Tigris which bisects the city.
For the sixth day of a new push to free the remaining neighborhoods of the eastern bank of the city, the troops are facing stiff resistance by the extremist militants.
In the past few weeks, the battles in Mosul were slowed amid grueling fighting inside Mosul with extremist militants, who used the city's civilians as human shields, carried out brutal counter attacks in small groups moving quickly throughout the districts, and resorted to suicide car bombs, in addition to mortar and sniper attacks.
The UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) said in a recent report that the military operations in Mosul, have pushed some 125,568 civilians to flee their homes in the city and its adjacent districts since the beginning of military offensive in October to reclaim the IS largest stronghold in Iraq.
Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi on Oct. 17 announced a major offensive to retake Mosul, the country's second largest city.
Since then, Iraqi security forces, backed by international coalition forces, have inched to the eastern fringes of Mosul and made progress on other routes around the city.
Mosul, some 400 km north of the Iraqi capital of Baghdad, has been under IS control since June 2014, when Iraqi government forces abandoned their weapons and fled, enabling IS militants to take control of parts of Iraq's northern and western regions.