MOSUL, Iraq (Reuters) - Islamic State’s “state of falsehood” has come to an end, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said on Thursday, after Iraqi troops captured the wrecked historic mosque of Mosul in which the insurgents declared their self-styled caliphate three years ago.
“The return of al-Nuri Mosque and al-Hadba minaret to the fold of the nation marks the end of the Daesh state of falsehood,” Abadi said in a statement, referring to the ultra-hardline Sunni group by an Arabic acronym.
He said Iraqi forces would continue to hunt Islamic State’s fighters “to kill them and detain them, down to the last one”.
The insurgents blew up the medieval mosque and its famed leaning minaret a week ago as U.S.-backed Iraqi forces advanced towards it. Their black flag had been flying from al-Hadba (The Hunchback) minaret since June 2014.
Writing by Maher Chmaytelli; editing by Andrew Roche