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Kurdish forces enter town near Mosul


11-08-2016 19:29 BJT

Iraqi Kurdish fighters continued to exchange fire with Islamic State militants on Tuesday as they advanced from two directions into a town held by the group east of Mosul.

The fighting began on Monday with a Kurdish barrage of heavy artillery, slamming into ISIL positions in Bashiqa, which is believed to be largely deserted except for dozens of ISIL fighters. It is about 13 kilometres northeast of Mosul's outskirts and about 20 kilometers from the city center.

The offensive to reclaim the town of Bashiqa is part of the broader push to drive ISIL out of Mosul, Iraq's second-largest city and the militants' last major stronghold in the country. However, the UN Human Rights Council has reported that ISIL abducted nearly 300 former members of Iraq's security forces near Mosul.

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