Mosul -- Officials at Iraq's Nineveh province have warned that senior Islamic State leaders were still in hiding at tunnels in the city of Mosul, the birthplace of the extremist group's self-proclaimed "caliphate".
Hossam al-Abbar, a member of the Nineveh Province Council, was quoted saying in press statements that senior IS members were still hiding in underground tunnels in the western regions of Mosul, adding that those regions are of tough geography that makes it difficult to detect those tunnels.
The banks of Tigris River have become a hideout for the militants who entrench in tunnels well-hidden in the middle of the jungles, according to Abbar.
Nineveh officials have recently warned that several IS members were moving in the province with fake IDs.
Iraq declared victory over Islamic State militants and the recapture of all of the group's strongholds in December 2017, but forces continue to hunt for remnant militants hiding at desert areas. As part of the clearing efforts, security commanders have occasionally reported the finding of underground tunnels belonging to the group.