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MENAFN - The Peninsula - 12/01/2017
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(MENAFN - The Peninsula) BAGHDAD: Iraqi forces have killed scores of Islamic State terrorists and recaptured several strategic areas of Mosul, according to high-ranking military sources.

"Mosul's eastern Al-Sukar neighborhood was liberated, along with parts of the city's northern 7 Nisan district and the southern Al-Dhubat district," Lieutenant-General Abdul-Amir Yarullah, an army commander, said at a Tuesday briefing.

He went on to assert that 193 IS militants had been killed in the fighting.

Army Brigadier-General Yahia Rasoul, for his part, a spokesman for the army's ongoing Mosul campaign, said security forces had registered "significant gains" in the city's eastern neighborhoods.

"Security forces are continuing operations with a view to entirely liberating the east bank of the Tigris," Rasoul said, referring to he river that runs through the city.

He added that warplanes were continuing to strike IS positions on the river's west bank.

IS overran Mosul in its entirety in mid-2014, entrenching itself in the city's dense urban environs.

Recent efforts to retake the city have met with fierce resistance. In December, Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said at least three more months would be needed to extirpate IS from Iraq.

Since the campaign to retake the city began last October, Iraqi forces have reportedly captured more than a quarter of Mosul, which was once considered Iraq's second largest city in terms of population.

Raad al-Dahlaki, who heads a parliamentary committee on refugees, said last week that some 145,000 civilian residents had fled the city since the campaign began almost three months ago.

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