At least two females who seemed to be civilians surrendering to Bunyan Marsous forces, blew themselves up today after being brought inside BM lines, killing four fighters and injuring more than a dozen others.
One of the women had brought two children with her, reported Reuters, but did not detonate her explosives until the infants had been taken to an ambulance. The children were reportedly hungry and dehydrated.
This incident follows the flight of other women from IS positions in recent days, in response to loudhailer calls for civilians to escape while they could. One young Tunisian girl who surrendered earlier this week has had her story of being duped into joining IS given wide publicity by the BM operations room.
Yesterday according to US Africa Command, there were three US air strikes all against terrorist positions. There have now been 470 American raids since August.
On Wednesday a BM commander was reported to have said that his men would be holding back from further advances and loss of life. Though tanks, armoured cars and self-propelled guns continue to be in the front line, the attackers have largely been content to bombard terrorist positions while laying down suppressive fire.
With the capture of each new building, the extent of the IS defences becomes clearer, with networks of bomb shelters, tunnels and communication lines knocked through buildings. Some of this labyrinth is booby-trapped, a few parts, it seems are well concealed. It is reported that today terrorists started firing from a building that had been taken and supposedly cleared by BM fighters. It is not known if the terrorists had hidden themselves inside the ruins or had later returned to it through tunnels.