Five top commanders of the Islamic State terrorist group have seized millions of dollars from the vast IS treasury and escaped from Nineveh. IS forces are now searching for the fugitives to the east of the city and also in the Tel Afar district.

"Five elite members of the Islamic state including the Treasury Official Abu al-Bara al-Qahtani, fled from the extremist group in Nineveh, after robbing millions of dollars.

"The ISIS mobilized a group of its members to pursue the fugitives, arrest and execute them immediately," Al Sumaria News reported. "The five elite leaders who hold Arab and foreign nationalities flee toward Tel Afar district then to the Syrian territories."

Meanwhile, roadside bombs launched by Islamic State (IS) have killed 17 people as they fled from Hawija, to the west of Kirkuk. Two explosions hit a lorry containing several people and it's reported that a policeman also died. The vehicle in which displaced families were travelling, was en route to al-Alam, around 120km (75 miles) to the south of Mosul.

Iraqi government-led troops are pushing forward in the battle to retake Mosul, the last city still held by Isis (Daesh). They also led a fierce offensive on Hamam al-Alil, to the south of Mosul on the Tigris river, beating off attacks from IS before raising the Iraqi flag, according to a BBC report. Social media images showed charred bodies and wreckage of the lorry after the explosions.

On Saturday (5 November), Iraqi special forces cleared buildings from neighbourhoods in eastern Mosul. However, IS militants are impeding the advance by firing mortars and sniper fire. The battle raged most fiercely in the al-Bakr neighbourhood.

"Daesh is in the city center and we must be very careful as our forces advance," said Maj Gen Sami al-Aridi of the Iraqi special forces, according to abc news.

New satellite images show defences set up by IS in Mosul, with rows of concrete barricades and rubble which bar important routes leading to the heart of the city. This will "pose a substantial tactical challenge" to Iraqi forces, according to Stratfor, a private intelligence firm based in Texas.

A two-pronged assault was unleashed on 4 November by Iraqi special forces as they attempt to push further into Mosul. Around seven special forces troops have died in the gun battles.

An aerial strike destroyed three vehicles with heavy weaponry that belonged to IS, according to local media. "The appearance of vehicles carrying heavy weapons in main roads of the east coast of Mosul became rare lately due to the fear of air strikes," Al Sumeria News reported.