NINEVEH PLAINS, Mosul-- At least 15 militants of the Shiite-led Hashd al-Shaabi were killed and 30 others were wounded in liberated villages near ISIS-held Talaafar southeast of Mosul city Tuesday night.
The Shiite fighters were killed as troops entered deserted villages in the area apparently setting off booby traps planted by ISIS militants before their retreat from the localities.
Rudaw reporter Bahman Hassan who is embedded with Shiite militia units also reported the force lined up many men from the villages for security checks before transferring entire families to refugee camps.
Hassan said it is a new ISIS tactic against advancing troops, planting explosives inside the deserted villages which trigger easily when militia convoys enter these villages.
Hassan said the Shiite militia were now virtually in control of several localities in the areas close to Talaafar.
"The Hashd al Shaabi troops are about 30 kilometres away from the Talaafar city centre which is a strategic lifeline for ISIS militants in Mosul, connecting the city with ISIS held territories in Syria," Hasan said.
"It's unclear where the men are taken and how the questioning takes place," Hasan said.
He also added that many of the deserted homes in the villages had been demolished by the Shiite militia to set off possible booby traps, the Hashd al-Shaabi commanders have said.