Iraq strikes Islamic State in Mosul

Iraqi forces clashed with Islamic State militants holding out in Mosul’s Old City more than 36 hours after Baghdad declared victory over the jihadists in what they had declared the de facto Iraqi capital of their “caliphate”.

Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi’s victory announcement signalled the biggest defeat for the hardline Sunni group since its lightning sweep through northern Iraq three years ago. But pockets of Mosul remain insecure and the city has been heavily damaged by nearly nine months of gruelling urban combat.

About 900,000 people fled the fighting, with more than a third sheltered in camps outside Iraq’s second largest city and the rest living with family and friends in other neighbourhoods.

Civilian activity has quickly returned to much of Mosul and work is underway to repair damaged homes and infrastructure.

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