Iraq's interior minister says most of Tikrit is liberated, fight goes on

Reuters News
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Posted: Apr 01, 2015 4:30 AM

TIKRIT, Iraq (Reuters) - Iraqi troops and Shi'ite paramilitary fighters were battling Islamic State militants in northern Tikrit Wednesday, as the government forces sought to push the extremist group from the city.

Iraq's Interior Minister Mohammed al-Ghabban said security forces were fighting to clear the last Islamic State stronghold, the city's northern neighborhood of Qadissiyah.

"Most of Tikrit is liberated today. Only a few areas of resistance are remaining," Ghabban said.

Government forces have been in a month-long fight for the city, which became a bastion for the Sunni jihadists who are at war with Baghdad and have been targeted by U.S.-led air strikes.

(Reporting By Ahmed Rasheed, Saif Hameed, Ned Parker; editing by John Stonestreet)