A tunnel leading to the underground hide-out of an Islamic State leader killed in the Iraqi forces-led Mosul offensive was outfitted with extremist graffiti, electricity, appliances, stockpiles of food and, potentially, booby traps.
“We found some of their mortar shells over there under the tunnels,” Kurdish Brig. Gen. Fayak Hassan Rashid said Thursday from a command post in the village of Shakoli, about 20 miles east of Mosul. “You can find everything in the tunnels: They put food, mattresses, refrigerators.”
Rashid’s Kurdish forces, known as peshmerga, made the discovery after winning a battle against extremists in Shakoli on Monday. They killed more than 50 Islamic State fighters, but two peshmerga charged with clearing mines from the area died when a tunnel exploded, and two more were injured, Rashid said.
At least one house across town near another tunnel was booby-trapped, packed with explosives. Peshmerga troops said the explosives were defused Thursday.