Sky News journalists escape blast in Mosul
Sky News journalists have narrowly avoided a bomb blast as they fled from sniper fire in Mosul.
Sky News Chief Correspondent Stuart Ramsay is in Iraq alongside with cameraman Nathan Hale and security adviser Mike Mawhinney.
According to Sky on Wednesday their staff were forced to take shelter in a vehicle when there was an explosion and were then foreced to flee that position when it came under fire by IS fire.
"Sometimes you have to run into a front line, even though your brain is screaming 'don't go'," Stuart Ramsay told his employer.
"Dismounted from armoured Humvees in this sniper-filled battle space, there is no choice.
"We're basically hiding in rubble now, trying to find a way to get out of here. At the moment it's impossible to move, there's just too much action taking place."
Iraqi government forces besieged Islamic State militants around Mosul's Old City on Thursday, edging closer to the historic mosque from where the group's leader declared a caliphate nearly three years ago.
The militants, holed up in houses and darting through alleyways, resisted with sniper fire, suicide attacks and car bombs.
Though heavy rain hampered the advance, Federal Police and rapid response unit troops reached points about 500 m (yards) from the centuries-old al-Nuri Mosque by Thursday morning.
Meanwhile, BBC reporters have been caught up in an eruption of Mt Etna in Italy, which injured ten people.
Global science correspondent Rebecca Morelle relayed the experience in a series of tweets.
“Running down a mountain pelted by rocks, dodging burning boulders and boiling steam – not an experience I ever, ever want to repeat,” she wrote.
“A reminder of how dangerous and unpredictable volcanoes can be – everyone had a very lucky escape."