BAZWAYA, Iraq (AP) — The Latest on developments in Iraq, where the offensive to take the city of Mosul from the Islamic State group is now in its third week (all times local):
Iraqi special forces say they have taken the state television building in an eastern district of the city of Mosul, as they battle their way further into territory held by the so-called Islamic State group.
Maj. Gen. Sami al-Aridi says heavy fighting broke out near the media station, the only state TV building in the province, as his troops tried to push into the city's more urban areas.
Special forces entered the eastern outskirts of the city earlier Tuesday, marking the first time Iraqi troops have entered Mosul since 2014.
The U.N. human rights office is lauding efforts by the U.S.-led coalition in the battle against the Islamic State group in Mosul.
The office in Geneva says coalition flights over Iraq have largely succeeded in preventing IS from bringing in 25,000 civilians from IS-held outskirts and surrounding areas into the city, where the militant group has been using people as human shields as Iraqi forces advance on Mosul.
OHCHR spokeswoman Ravina Shamdasani on Tuesday cited unspecified reports of IS sending trucks and minibuses to Hamam al-Alil, south of Mosul, from where it was to bring people in.
She says coalition strikes along roadways largely prevented the transfer toward Mosul, forcing the trucks to turn back. She says some minibuses reached Abusaif along the way to Mosul.
Shamdasani also told reporters in Geneva that her office received new reports of "mass killings" by IS, including on Saturday of 40 former Iraqi security force members whose bodies were thrown into the Tigris River.
An Iraqi special forces general says his men have entered the outskirts of Mosul and were driving ahead despite fierce resistance from the Islamic State group fighters who hold the city.
Maj. Gen. Sami al-Aridi says troops have entered Gogjali, a neighborhood inside Mosul's city limits, and are only 800 meters (yards) from the more central Karama district.
He says IS fighters have set up concrete blast walls to block off the Karama neighborhood and block the troops advance, and that bombs have been placed along the road into the city.
Airstrikes by U.S.-led coalition aircraft have begun targeting Islamic State group positions inside Mosul's eastern neighborhood of Gogjali, as fighting intensifies on the ground.
Brig. Gen. Haider Fadhil of the special forces says that as troops and vehicles advanced toward the city early Tuesday, IS fired at them with guided anti-tank missiles to stop their progress.
If the forces enter the neighborhood, it will be the first time Iraqi troops set foot in Mosul in over two years, after they were driven out by a much smaller force of IS extremists in 2014.
From the edge of the nearby village of Bazwaya, smoke could be seen rising from buildings on the city's outskirts, where shells were landing.
For over two weeks, Iraqi forces and their Kurdish allies, Sunni tribesmen and Shiite militias have been converging on Mosul from all directions to drive IS from the city. The operation is expected to take weeks, if not months.
Iraq's special forces have begun an assault on Mosul, part of operations to drive the Islamic State group from the country's second city.
Troops have opened up with artillery, tank and machine gun fire on IS positions on the edge of the Gogjali neighborhood, with the extremists responding occasionally with rocket-propelled grenades. From the nearby village of Bazwaya, smoke could be seen rising from buildings on the city's edge, where shells were landing.
Brig. Gen. Haider Fadhil of the special forces says the operation began Tuesday morning.
For over two weeks, Iraqi forces and their Kurdish allies, Sunni tribesmen and Shiite militias have been converging on Mosul from all directions to drive IS from the city.
The operation is expected to take weeks, if not months.