Two bombs have exploded in Baghdad killing 25 people.  The Islamic State (IS) has claimed responsibility for the attack.  In an Iraq northern city, Mosul, fierce fighting has intensified as the last strong hold of IS comes under attack from Iraq military advised by their U.S allies.

The blasts one of which was a suicide attack happened in the Sinak neighbourhood of the city in a busy market, according to the police.  One pro – IS news agency stated that Shi’ite Muslims were the target of the attack.  By all accounts, they are regarded as apostates.

Despite losing much of the northern and western Baghdad in 2014 the group still mounts attacks against its people.

As a military force, the Islamic State caliphate will probably be wiped out once they are defeated in Mosul.  That said, they would still be able to mount a covert war including guerrilla-style tactics in Iraq, and inspiring or plotting attacks around the world.

In Mosul a new offence launched by the Iraq army with U.S ground forces closer to the action than any time before since 2003 has encountered fierce resistance.  Fighting has been intense in the south eastern and northern fronts.

The push began on Saturday through the Intisar district of the city, spearheaded by an elite Interior Ministry unit.  Lieutenant Colonel Abbas al-Azawi said, “There is a battle in Argoob area, which is considered the gateway to Hadba.”

So far a quarter of the city of Mosul has been recaptured since October by Iraqi forces.  It is the biggest land campaign since the invasion of Iraq in 2003.  Although outnumbered, the militants have hidden among the civilian population making them harder to hit.

It was believed that residents would flee once the fighting started but so far this has not been the case, despite food and water shortages.

Fierce fighting is expected to continue for some time.