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Iraqi forces recapture government headquarter in key city

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  1 April 2015 12:00 AM GMT

Baghdad, March 31: Iraqi security forces on Tuesday retook control of Salahudin’s provincial government compound and several presidential palaces from the Islamic State (IS) militants in the provincial capital city of Tikrit, a security source said. The troops, backed by allied Shia and Sunni militias and covered by US-led coalition and Iraqi aircraft, made significant advance during the past 24 hours, after they seized the government compound, which includes the provincial government building, in the southern part of Tikrit, some 170 km north of Iraq’s capital Baghdad, the source told Xinhua news agency on condition of anonymity.

There are a total of 76 palaces, smaller villas and artificial lakes and date orchards, most of them built near the Tigris river, stretching from northern Tikrit to Saddam’s village of Awja, 12 km south of the city.

The troops continued their slow advance and came closer to the central part of the city, he said.

The security forces also made progress in albu-Obeid district in southwestern Tikrit and are expected to reach the IS-held western city of al-Zuhour district, he added.

“At least nine personnel of the security forces and Hashid Shaabi, or Popular Mobilisation, have been killed and 18 others wounded in the battles in Tikrit,” the source said citing initial medical reports.

On Monday, the troops reportedly retook control of the main hospital building, which is part of the government compound, and took new positions in the surrounding area as they headed toward the central part of Tikrit. (IANS)

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