Safe Return



Summary: Security incident during this reporting period included two attacks with small arms and two with improvised explosive devices that in total killed one civilian and injured one civilian and one member of the Iraqi security forces (ISF). One other civilian was kidnapped while another was killed in unknown circumstances before his body was found with gunshot wounds in west Mosul. There were also four operations by the ISF that resulted in arresting at least six terrorism suspects and four other suspected of armed robbery. Meanwhile, the national security department arrested four students of Mosul University for participating in a strike earlier in the week. Finally, the counter terrorism service mistakenly killed two fishermen in the Mosul dam lake.


Note: locations are approximate

Security Incidents

On December 6, the Ninewa police said that armed men kidnapped a young man named Ahmed Raad Shihab, a high school student, near his home in Mosul’s old district.

On December 8, the military intelligence said that its forces arrested a person suspected of financing ISIS in Mosul during its occupation of the city by stealing the wheat crops from the Wa’iliya silo. The arrest took place during an ambush in the Itmarat village in Tal Afar district west of Mosul.

On December 8, the commander of Ninewa operations said that a force from the 16th division in the Iraqi army found heavy machineguns and large amounts of munition boxes in the Sheikh Younis village in the Nweget mountains southwest of Mosul.

On December 9, Ninewa police arrested five members of ISIS in the neighborhoods of Bakr, Zahraa, Quds and Nahdha in east Mosul. Three of the suspects were ISIS fighters during its occupation of the city while the other two worked in the Hisba and Sharia organizations.

On December 9, a roadside IED exploded in the Surooj village near the Shora subdistrict south of Mosul. One high school student was killed in the explosion.

On December 9, one of our community based monitors reported that the security checkpoints leading to the Ninewa plains from the direction of Erbil closed the road to the town of Qaraqosh/Bakhdida starting at dawn that day. The checkpoint personnel did not provide reasons for the closure of the vital economic road for the locals.

On December 9, the national security department arrested four students from Mosul university because of their participation in a strike at the university on the previous day. A student activists said the arrests were made during raids of the students’ homes.

On December 11, the ISF found the dead body of a civilian showing marks of gunshot wounds in the Yarmouk neighborhood west of Mosul.

On December 11, one of our community based monitors said that ISIS militants opened fire on an army checkpoint Tuesday night near the Kharar village in the Hamam al-Alil subdistrict south of Mosul. The attackers detonated an IED when ISF reinforcements arrived at the scene but there were no casualties. Hours later another attack by ISIS militants took place near the nearby Jehouni village, also in Hamam al-Alil. One ISF officer was wounded as a result. Information supplied by another community based monitor indicated that one woman was also wounded by gunfire when a wedding convoy she was part of passed by the attack site.

On December 11, the Ninewa police arrested four members of a gang suspected of involvement in an armed robbery that targeted a goldsmith who was on his way home from his shop. The four suspects were arrested in east Mosul and some of the stolen jewelry was recovered by police.

On December 12, a source in Ninewa police said that counter terrorism forces mistakenly killed two fishermen while they were working in a security restricted zone of the Mosul dam lake north of Mosul.

Officially launched in June 2019, Ninewa-ISHM and Security Bulletins utilize information collected from community-based monitors; Iraq-based Arabic, Kurdish, and English news sources; data from aid agencies; and social media posts, verified and fact-checked by EPIC’s research team. This weekly bulletin is part of Safe Return, a project to support the safe and voluntary return of IDPs who have survived severe human rights abuses to their homes in Ninewa. Safe Return is made possible with the generous support of the American people through USAID in partnership with Heartland Alliance International .

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