LONDON (Reuters) - Dramatic footage released this week shows the moment a bulldozer driven by an Iraqi security force member tackles an explosive-filled car driven by a suicide bomber, offering a rare, close-up view of the fierce battle for control of Mosul.
According to the Iraqi media outlet that uploaded the footage on Wednesday, the incident took place in west Mosul, where Iraqi forces have been engaged in fierce fighting with Islamic State militants as they seek to push them out of the city.
The footage, shot on a camera apparently mounted in the driver’s cabin, shows the bulldozer confronting a dust-covered car driving towards it, using its front bucket to push the car towards a nearby building.
The car then appears to explode with a flash of fire and smoke. The bulldozer driver can then be heard speaking on a radio with another person.
In a separate video, a soldier from the elite Counter Terrorism Service whom local media identified as the driver of the bulldozer described the incident: “He came out from the side road. He did not know which way to go. We came face to face. He tried running away from my side. So I blocked him and he blew himself up.”
Islamic State militants have been using abandoned vehicles to make roadblocks in the city, a tactic Iraqi forces have employed bulldozers to overcome.
Earlier this week, Reuters reported that Islamic State fighters were planting bombs near front doors in Mosul to prevent civilians leaving, as Iraqi forces make a final push against the jihadists after seven months of fighting.
Writing by Mark Hanrahan in London; Editing by Janet Lawrence