Edition:
India
Pictures | Mon Mar 6, 2017 | 8:45pm IST

Islamic State's underground training camp

Members of the rapid response forces inspect a tunnel was used by Islamic State militants as an underground training camp in the hillside overlooking Mosul, Iraq. In less turbulent times, trains ran through it on their way to or from Mosul, but when the militants overran the area in the summer of 2014, they barricaded both ends, ripped up the tracks and built an assault course inside, on which to train their recruits. The tunnel - about 7 m (yards) high by 5 m (yards) wide, and around half a kilometre (0.3 mile) in length - features a series of obstacles, which one soldier tried out. "Their training is similar to ours," said Kadhem al-Gharrawi, a member of the Rapid Response Division, an elite Interior Ministry Unit. "It's tough training for special forces."

REUTERS/Alaa Al-Marjani

Members of the rapid response forces inspect a tunnel was used by Islamic State militants as an underground training camp in the hillside overlooking Mosul, Iraq. In less turbulent times, trains ran through it on their way to or from Mosul, but when...more

Members of the rapid response forces inspect a tunnel was used by Islamic State militants as an underground training camp in the hillside overlooking Mosul, Iraq. In less turbulent times, trains ran through it on their way to or from Mosul, but when the militants overran the area in the summer of 2014, they barricaded both ends, ripped up the tracks and built an assault course inside, on which to train their recruits. The tunnel - about 7 m (yards) high by 5 m (yards) wide, and around half a kilometre (0.3 mile) in length - features a series of obstacles, which one soldier tried out. "Their training is similar to ours," said Kadhem al-Gharrawi, a member of the Rapid Response Division, an elite Interior Ministry Unit. "It's tough training for special forces." REUTERS/Alaa Al-Marjani
Close
1 / 8
The mouth of the tunnel is hardly visible on a muddy hillside overlooking Mosul, where fighting now rages between Iraqi forces and Islamic State militants. Iraqi forces discovered the underground training camp after regaining control of the hillside last month in the early stages of a campaign to dislodge Islamic State militants from Mosul's western half. Locals tipped them off about the location of the camp, which reveals the extent of Islamic State�s determination, despite the overwhelming number and firepower of the forces arrayed against it, which are backed by a U.S.-led coalition.

REUTERS/Alaa Al-Marjani

The mouth of the tunnel is hardly visible on a muddy hillside overlooking Mosul, where fighting now rages between Iraqi forces and Islamic State militants. Iraqi forces discovered the underground training camp after regaining control of the hillside...more

The mouth of the tunnel is hardly visible on a muddy hillside overlooking Mosul, where fighting now rages between Iraqi forces and Islamic State militants. Iraqi forces discovered the underground training camp after regaining control of the hillside last month in the early stages of a campaign to dislodge Islamic State militants from Mosul's western half. Locals tipped them off about the location of the camp, which reveals the extent of Islamic State�s determination, despite the overwhelming number and firepower of the forces arrayed against it, which are backed by a U.S.-led coalition. REUTERS/Alaa Al-Marjani
Close
2 / 8
A view of Islamic State slogans painted along the walls of the tunnel that was used by Islamic State militants as an underground training camp in Mosul, Iraq. "By the will of God, we will conquer Rome," reads one mural painted on the wall of the tunnel against the background of a blood red sun. 

REUTERS/Alaa Al-Marjani

A view of Islamic State slogans painted along the walls of the tunnel that was used by Islamic State militants as an underground training camp in Mosul, Iraq. "By the will of God, we will conquer Rome," reads one mural painted on the wall of the...more

A view of Islamic State slogans painted along the walls of the tunnel that was used by Islamic State militants as an underground training camp in Mosul, Iraq. "By the will of God, we will conquer Rome," reads one mural painted on the wall of the tunnel against the background of a blood red sun. REUTERS/Alaa Al-Marjani
Close
3 / 8
A view of Islamic State slogans painted along the walls of the tunnel. It is not clear how many recruits passed through the camp or what became of them. The physical drills complemented the group's ideological training, evidence of which is contained in booklets littering the floor of the tunnel, detailing its uncompromising doctrine. A leaflet titled "Types of Idolatry", lies beside empty cartons of orange juice drunk by the recruits and packaging of the boots and balaclava headgear they wore.

REUTERS/Alaa Al-Marjani

A view of Islamic State slogans painted along the walls of the tunnel. It is not clear how many recruits passed through the camp or what became of them. The physical drills complemented the group's ideological training, evidence of which is contained...more

A view of Islamic State slogans painted along the walls of the tunnel. It is not clear how many recruits passed through the camp or what became of them. The physical drills complemented the group's ideological training, evidence of which is contained in booklets littering the floor of the tunnel, detailing its uncompromising doctrine. A leaflet titled "Types of Idolatry", lies beside empty cartons of orange juice drunk by the recruits and packaging of the boots and balaclava headgear they wore. REUTERS/Alaa Al-Marjani
Close
4 / 8
Near the start of the assault course lie several backpacks full of sand, which were worn by recruits to weigh them down as they went over the obstacles, to increase the difficulty. After coming off the death slide, recruits would have swung along monkey bars and then thrown themselves flat to crawl under barbed wire, past the words "We will prevail despite the global Crusader alliance" painted on the wall. Red arrows point to the direction in which they were supposed to scramble over a wall - still covered in scuff marks made by their boots.

REUTERS/Alaa Al-Marjani

Near the start of the assault course lie several backpacks full of sand, which were worn by recruits to weigh them down as they went over the obstacles, to increase the difficulty. After coming off the death slide, recruits would have swung along...more

Near the start of the assault course lie several backpacks full of sand, which were worn by recruits to weigh them down as they went over the obstacles, to increase the difficulty. After coming off the death slide, recruits would have swung along monkey bars and then thrown themselves flat to crawl under barbed wire, past the words "We will prevail despite the global Crusader alliance" painted on the wall. Red arrows point to the direction in which they were supposed to scramble over a wall - still covered in scuff marks made by their boots. REUTERS/Alaa Al-Marjani
Close
5 / 8
The recruits appear to have slept there some of the time: bedding is strewn in two chambers dug into the sides of the tunnel, including a pink duvet cover decorated with cartoon character Mickey Mouse.

REUTERS/Alaa Al-Marjani

The recruits appear to have slept there some of the time: bedding is strewn in two chambers dug into the sides of the tunnel, including a pink duvet cover decorated with cartoon character Mickey Mouse. REUTERS/Alaa Al-Marjani

The recruits appear to have slept there some of the time: bedding is strewn in two chambers dug into the sides of the tunnel, including a pink duvet cover decorated with cartoon character Mickey Mouse. REUTERS/Alaa Al-Marjani
Close
6 / 8
The militants also installed lighting in the tunnel, powered by a generator set in the hillside. There was a medical clinic in a portacabin, as well as four shower cubicles and a place to perform ablutions before prayer in a tunnel section labelled "mosque".

REUTERS/Alaa Al-Marjani

The militants also installed lighting in the tunnel, powered by a generator set in the hillside. There was a medical clinic in a portacabin, as well as four shower cubicles and a place to perform ablutions before prayer in a tunnel section labelled...more

The militants also installed lighting in the tunnel, powered by a generator set in the hillside. There was a medical clinic in a portacabin, as well as four shower cubicles and a place to perform ablutions before prayer in a tunnel section labelled "mosque". REUTERS/Alaa Al-Marjani
Close
7 / 8
Another area was designated for washing dishes, not far from the slogan: "Heaven is jihad in the path of God". 

REUTERS/Alaa Al-Marjani

Another area was designated for washing dishes, not far from the slogan: "Heaven is jihad in the path of God". REUTERS/Alaa Al-Marjani

Another area was designated for washing dishes, not far from the slogan: "Heaven is jihad in the path of God". REUTERS/Alaa Al-Marjani
Close
8 / 8

Next Slideshows

Clashes break out at Trump rally

Supporters of Trump clash with counter-protesters at a rally in Berkeley, California.

06 Mar 2017

Brutal street battle for Mosul

Terrified civilians flee fighting, often under Islamic State militant fire, as Iraqi forces battle their way within range of the city's government buildings.

06 Mar 2017

Vigil for Indian killed in Kansas

A vigil in honor of Srinivas Kuchibhotla, an immigrant from India who was recently shot and killed in Kansas.

06 Mar 2017

Habanos in Havana

From the field to the factory during the annual Habanos cigar festival in Cuba.

04 Mar 2017

MORE IN PICTURES

Trump's first 100 days

Trump's first 100 days

The first 100 days of the Trump administration in 50 photos.

Protesters storm Macedonia's parliament

Protesters storm Macedonia's parliament

Protesters stormed into Macedonia's parliament and assaulted the leader of the Social Democrats after his party and ethnic Albanian allies voted to elect an Albanian as parliament speaker.

Battleground Mosul

Battleground Mosul

Residents of Mosul await the final defeat of Islamic State as Iraqi forces surround militants in the northwestern part of the city.

The view from Trump Tower

The view from Trump Tower

Inside President Trump's signature property, a New York skyscraper where first lady Melania and son Barron stay while the president is in Washington.

From Minnesota to Manitoba: Seeking asylum in the north

From Minnesota to Manitoba: Seeking asylum in the north

Migrants, fearing they will be swept up in President Donald Trump's immigration crackdown, follow the railway tracks as they leave Noyes, Minnesota and head toward the Canadian border.

USS Carl Vinson on patrol

USS Carl Vinson on patrol

The USS Carl Vinson aircraft carrier strike group approaches Korean waters, where it will join the nuclear submarine USS Michigan, amid the North Korean nuclear and missile crisis.

Palestinian hunger strike protest grows

Palestinian hunger strike protest grows

Hundreds of Palestinians in Israeli jails are on hunger strike in response to a call by prominent prisoner Marwan Barghouti, widely seen as a possible future Palestinian president.

Germany's April snow

Germany's April snow

Snow blankets flowers and fields in Germany.

First 100 days of Trump

First 100 days of Trump

Major moments from the first days of the Trump administration.

Trending Collections

Pictures