Battle for Mosul: Iraqi PM arrives in city to declare victory in three year fight against Isis

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Iraq’s Prime Minister has arrived in Mosul to celebrate military forces capturing the city from so-called Islamic State.

Isis militants were driven out of the city in northern Iraq this weekend after months of intense battle with Iraqi army.

Haider al-Abadi arrived in Mosul on Sunday to congratulate his army and declare “victory” in the city.

The Iraqi army, with backing from the US military which has conducted air strikes, has been locked in a fight for the city since October last year.

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An Iraqi military vehicle in Mosul (EPA)

It had been seized by Isis militants in June 2014 as a “caliphate” in a region straddling Syria and Iraq was declared. The defeat would mark the heaviest inflicted on Isis in the ensuing period.

However, there remained reports of heavy fighting still going on in parts of the city – Iraq’s second largest – on Sunday.

Much of Mosul’s Old City and surrounding areas have been devastated by months of gruelling urban combat.

On Sunday a line of tired civilians filed out of the Old City on foot, past the carcasses of destroyed apartment blocks lining the cratered roads.

Almost 900,000 people have been displaced by fighting in the city.

On Sunday morning, the Associated Press news agency reported that Isis now controls less than a square kilometre of territory in Mosul’s Old City, but is using human shields, suicide bombers and snipers in a fight to the death.


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