“Islamic State militants attacked Iraqi soldiers near a hospital in southeast Mosul on Wednesday, an army officer and the jihadist group’s new agency said, trying to repel the army’s deepest advances of the seven-week Mosul campaign.
The fighting came a day after the army’s operations commander for Mosul said soldiers surged into the city and took over the Salam hospital, less than a mile (1.5 km) from the Tigris river which divides eastern and western Mosul.
Tuesday’s rapid advance marked a change in military tactics after more than a month of grueling fighting in the east of the city, in which the army has sought to capture and clear neighborhoods block by block.
But it left the attacking forces exposed, and the Islamic State news agency Amaq said on Wednesday some of them were surrounded. It said a suicide bomber blew himself up near the hospital, killing 20 soldiers. Eight armored personnel carriers were also destroyed in the fighting, Amaq said.”