AGONY OF WAR: A man cries as he carries his daughter while walking from an Islamic State-controlled part of Mosul towards Iraqi special forces soldiers during a battle in Mosul, Iraq. Picture: Reuters
Mosul, Iraq: A screaming father running down a rubble-strewn street in Mosul carrying his distressed daughter was one of the most powerful Reuters images taken during the Iraqi-led assault to remove Islamic State (IS) from its stronghold.

The nine-month offensive to recapture the northern city began in October, with thousands killed or displaced before Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi declared victory on Monday, three years after the militants seized the city.

Reuters has re-released a selection of pictures from the offensive, along with our photographers’ accounts of the events behind them.

They can be seen by clicking http://reut.rs/2sMj8og.

As US-led coalition air strikes hit the Tahrir district of eastern Mosul in November, Reuters photographer Goran Tomasevic was on the streets and captured the panic from one strike that sent civilians fleeing for safety.

“It was close and total panic ensued. People were screaming, ducking and running away,” he said.

The air strikes aided the 100 000-strong alliance of Iraqi government units, Kurdish Peshmerga fighters and Shia militias who made ground against the militants, some of who were manhandled when found hiding among civilians.

Reuters photographer Alaa Al-Marjani captured the moment one suspect was “tossed into the bed of the pick-up truck” in February during patrols in the west of the city. Other militants were shot on sight.

Tomasevic took an over-the-shoulder shot of one Iraqi soldier as he fired on an IS suicide bomber in March.

“I took the picture seconds later, standing just behind the shooter in silhouette, with the suicide bomber visible through a shell hole in the house wall, dead on the ground in a spreading pool of blood,” he said.

“It was pretty heavy stuff; extremely close-range war fighting.”

The pain of the thousands of displaced families was captured by Zohra Bensemra, who photographed a fatigued 90-year-old woman in western Mosul, barely able to stand as she made her way to the Iraqi security forces area.

“I felt bad because I could not do anything else for her apart from photographing her to show the world what physical and mental state the people who flee Mosul are in, Bensemra said.