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Iraqi forces enter eastern outskirts of Mosul

Iraqi anti-terrorism forces on Tuesday penetrated Gogjali village on the eastern outskirts of Mosul as part of an offensive to liberate the city from Islamic State militants, a security source reported.

“The forces managed to take control of a TV building in the village and are currently combing the area,’’ the source added, who preferred to remain anonymous.

The security source reported that Iraqi forces and Islamic State militants have been engaged in intense fighting in and around factories in Gogjali at the gate to the first district of Mosul in the east of the city.

“Islamic State militants used sniper fire and home-made vehicle bombs to halt the advance of the Iraqi forces,’’ the report added.

On October 17, government forces, Kurdish troops and Sunni fighters, backed by U.S.-led airpower, started a long-awaited campaign to liberate Mosul, Iraq’s second-largest city.

Mosul, which is located in Nineveh province, is the largest city controlled by the Sunni extremist group, with a population of over 2 million before the conflict.

The battle was expected to be a decisive moment in Iraq’s fight against Islamic State, which Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has vowed would be driven out of the country this year.

Islamic State overran Mosul in mid-2014 at the beginning of a lightning offensive that saw it seized swathes of Sunni Arab northern and western Iraq as Iraqi army and police units collapsed in the face of its onslaught. (dpa/NAN)

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