At a field clinic near the front line in Mosul, an Iraqi Federal Police officer lay in discomfort on a stretcher, a drip in his arm and bandage plastered over his chest from where shrapnel from a mortar shell had pierced his sternum.
The blast which wounded the 23-year-old, Jaafar Kareem, and two comrades, was in an area where rapid advances against Islamic State earlier in the week have slowed as the militants aim mortar and sniper fire at Iraqi troops.
At least 10 shells had landed there that morning, before hitting their target, Kareem said.
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