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Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said the capture of Mosul from ISIL will be announced in a few days.
“It is supposed that one cherishes the place that shows one's starting point. They blew it up now and destroyed it and by that they announce their defeat,” he said.
Al-Abadi was referring to the landmark Grand al-Nuri Mosque of Mosul and its leaning minaret which were blown up by ISIL fighters on Wednesday. It was from there that ISIL leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi gave his most prominent address and made his first appearance as caliph in 2014.
Fighting in western Mosul continues, and the situation inside the ISIL-captured territory has been described by the United Nations as desperate, with thousands of civilians struggling to survive.