MOSUL, Iraq, Nov. 23 (UPI) -- Iraq's Ministry of Defense said airstrikes destroyed two Islamic State explosive factories and killed dozens of militants east of Mosul.
The Islamic State, also known as ISIL, Daesh and ISIS, used the factory to make car bombs.
"Today, army aviation conducted an airstrike on Wadi Akab area in the eastern coast of the city of Mosul," the Defense Ministry said in a statement Tuesday. "The aerial bombing resulted in the destruction of two explosives factories and killing of dozens of the ISIS members."
Iraqi security forces, aided by the Kurdish Peshmerga, Shiite militias and a U.S.-led international coalition, engaged in a ground offensive on Oct. 17 to capture Mosul -- Iraq's second-largest city -- away from Islamic State control.
In Mosul's al-Zahra neighborhood, Iraqi security forces fired gunshots into the air in order to disperse hundreds of civilians who rushed a food distribution point. One soldier was seen beating a woman who was attempting to acquire food, Rudaw reported.
The United Nations said nearly 70,000 people have been displaced since the Iraqi offensive to capture Mosul began.
"Humanitarian needs are severe among displaced families in and out of camps, vulnerable residents of retaken communities, and people fleeing the intense fighting in Mosul city," the United Nations said.