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Iraqi forces close in on Mosul with bit-by-bit push

IANS | Mosul |

Iraqi forces battling Islamic State (IS) terrorists on Monday pushed further into northern Mosul, the Iraqi military said.

The army's 9th Armored Division and elite forces of the federal police, known as Rapid Response, freed the neighbourhood of Harmat and raised the Iraqi flag over some of its buildings after heavy clashes against IS terrorists, Xinhua quoted the Iraqi Joint Operations Command (JOC) as saying.

The troops also recaptured Harmat's residential buildings after heavy clashes against IS terrorists who were holed up in the buildings, leaving at least 17 of them killed, Qasim Nazzal, commander of the 9th division, told Xinhua.

Nazzal confirmed that the troops are now initiating a new push at the edge of the July 30 neighbourhood, which is one of the main IS redoubts in the northern part of Mosul's western side.