Iraqi forces recapture government HQ in Tikrit

Updated: 2015-03-31 21:22


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Iraqi forces recapture government HQ in Tikrit

Members of the Hashid Shaabi (Popular Mobilisation) forces, which allied with Iraqi forces, chant slogans against the Islamic State in Tikrit March 30, 2015.[Photo/Agencies]

TIKRIT, Iraq - 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 provincial security source said.

The troops backed by allied Shiite and Sunni militias and covered by U.S.-led coalition and Iraqi aircraft made significant advance during the past 24 hours, after they seized government compound, which includes the provincial government building, in the southern part of Tikrit, some 170 km north of the Iraqi capital of Baghdad, the source told Xinhua on condition of anonymity.

The troops later pushed to the north on the western bank of the Tigris River and seized several presidential palaces of the former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein, the source said.

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

The troops continued their slow advance and became 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 security members and Hashid Shaabi, or Popular Mobilization, have been killed and 18 others wounded by the battles in Tikrit," the source said citing initial medical reports.

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