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Iraqi military says it has 'fully liberated' Tall Afar's town center from Islamic State

Iraqi military says it has 'fully liberated' Tall Afar's town center from Islamic State
Fighters supporting Iraqi forces pose with the Iraqi flag at Tall Afar's Ottoman-era citadel Aug. 27, 2017. (Ahmad al-Rubaye / AFP/Getty Images)

The Iraqi military says it has "fully liberated" Tall Afar's town center from the Islamic State group.

Pockets of resistance remain but the announcement brings Iraqi forces a step closer to taking full control of one of the extremists' last strongholds in Iraq.

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Sunday's statement says troops have captured all of the town's neighborhoods but are heading to Ayadia district, about 6 miles northwest of Tall Afar, to pursue a group of militants who fled.

On Aug. 20, U.S.-backed Iraqi troops launched a multi-pronged operation to retake Tall Afar, a month after declaring Mosul, Iraq's second-largest city, fully liberated. Tall Afar is about 60 miles from Syria's border.

Militants still control the northern town of Hawija as well as Qaim, Rawa and Ana, in western Iraq near the Syrian border.

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