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Iraqi forces retake Mosul government headquarters from Islamic State

The fighting in west Mosul has forced more than 50,000 people to flee.

A federal policeman advances during fighting against Islamic State militants, in western Mosul
A federal policeman advances during fighting against Islamic State militants, in western Mosul
Image: AP/Press Association Images

IRAQ HAS ANNOUNCED that its forces have retaken the provincial government headquarters and a second strategically important area from the Islamic State group in west Mosul.

The operation to retake west Mosul – IS’s largest remaining urban stronghold – was launched on 19 February, but the advance had slowed in the face of several days of bad weather until a renewed push began on Sunday.

“The heroes of the federal police and Rapid Response liberate the government building for Nineveh province and control the second bridge (Al-Hurriyah Bridge),” the Joint Operations Command said in a statement.

Mosul, Iraq’s second city, is the capital of Nineveh province.

The city is divided by the Tigris River, and while bridges crossing it have been either damaged or destroyed, they would provide a link between the government-held east and IS-held west if they can be repaired or otherwise bridged.

The fighting in west Mosul has forced more than 50,000 people to flee, the International Organization for Migration said.

Iraq Mosul Source: Khalid Mohammed

IS overran large areas north and west of Baghdad in 2014, but Iraqi forces backed by US-led air strikes and other support have since regained most of the ground they lost.

- © AFP, 2017

Read: Islamic State imposes dress code on men in captured city to allow its fighters blend in>

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