Elite Iraqi troops advanced against Islamic State militants in eastern Mosul in their first night-time raid in the city, a spokesman said on Friday, in a USA -backed operation which officials say is gaining momentum.
Iraqi counter-terrorism forces pushed to within several hundred metres (yards) of the Tigris and a strategic bridge on Saturday, the closest they have been, after staging an unprecedented nighttime assault the day before in a nearby district, a spokesman said.
Islamic State has been driven out of more than half the areas it held east of the Tigris river, which bisects the city, but is still in control of the west.
Dr. Ahmed Raid al-Hamadani, an official with Mosul operations' mobile hospitals unit said: "As far as we have learnt from eyewitnesses, a civilian convey of 10 vehicles was targeted by coalition forces in eastern part of Mosul, where ISIL has no connection".
"This morning CTS troops advanced in two directions towards the Baladiyat and Sukkar districts", Lt.General Abdelwahab al-Saadi told Reuters.
The CTS is part of a 100,000-strong force backed by US air power of Iraqi troops, Kurdish fighters, and Shi'ite militias fighting to drive IS out of Mosul.
Government forces launched an offensive to drive IS from its last major stronghold in Iraq last October.
Brett McGurk, Washington's envoy to the US-led coalition backing the Iraqi offensive, said in a tweet that the militant's defenses in eastern Mosul were "showing signs of collapse".
In a separate operation, coalition planes also hit Ibn al-Haysum, a civilian residential neighborhood in southeastern Mosul, killing 12 civilians, including women and children, he added. Iraqi forces in Mosul have met with fierce resistance from extremist fighters, estimated at up to 7,000 before the start of the offensive, as well as sniper fire, auto bombs and booby traps.