Female ISIS fighter blows herself up while clutching a baby

(Reuters/Goran Tomasevic)People run in panic after a coalition airstrike hit Islamic State fighters positions in Mosul, November 2016.

A woman fighting for the Islamic State terror group has been seen in a photograph clutching a baby in her arms just a few seconds before she detonated her suicide vest.

In the photo, a Burka-clad woman carrying a child and at least two bags appeared to be fleeing from a newly liberated part of Mosul. Closer inspection of the photo suggested that the woman was also holding a detonator.

Just moments after the picture was taken, the woman reportedly blew herself up, with the baby in her arms.

According to a cameraman for local al-Mawsleya TV, the woman tried to detonate the explosives as she walked past Iraqi troops, but it failed to go off until she had walked some distance away.

"I never believed a woman detonating herself while cradling her child, but ISIS did all kinds bizarre and strange things," Ahmen Amouri, an officer for the Iraqi Counter-Terrorism Service, told Rudaw.

"Our forces were heading towards Old Mosul. Tens of families were running and approaching us. We noticed a woman holding a child in her arms having a strange demeanor. As we talked to her, she blew herself up immediately," he added.

Both the woman and the child died in the blast, and two soldiers were also killed, according to The Mirror.

On Sunday, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi declared Mosul "liberated," but a few areas in the Western part of the city have not been cleared of militants.

Data from Iraqi Federal Police and Rapid Response Force showed that as many as 38 ISIS female suicide bombers have detonated themselves in Mosul last month.

Salam Obaidi, a commander of the ICTS, said that seven suicide bombing attempts by female militants have been foiled by Iraqi armed forces. "The ISIS suicide bombers are forcing us to do everything to confront them," he explained.

More than 20 female suicide bombers are believed to have donated explosives in the past two weeks, and one general claimed that they were using their own children as human shields.

"The women are fighting with their children right beside them. It's making us hesitant to use air strikes, to advance. If it weren't for this we could be finished in just a few hours," said Lieutenant General Sami al-Aridi, according to Daily Mail.

Preventing the attacks have proved difficult as soldiers do not ask women to lift up their clothes to check for explosives.

Government forces, with the help of a U.S.-led coalition, have been trying to drive out ISIS from Mosul since October. It is believed that a few hundred militants still remain in a confined area overlooking the Tigris River, which divides the city's east and west.

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