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Iraqi commander declares 'battle of Falluja over'

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Iraqi commander declares 'battle of Falluja over'

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Iraqi forces have recaptured the last district of Falluja held by militants from the self-styled Islamic State movement as the general commanding the operation declared the battle complete.

The Prime Minister Haidi al-Abadi claimed victory over a week ago but clashes then continued inside the city west of Baghdad.

The militants seized Falluja in January 2014.

The assault is part of a wider offensive against ISIL. At least 1,800 fighters from the extremist group were killed in the five-week campaign to retake the city, according to the government.

The operation’s success gives fresh momentum to Iraqi forces seeking to retake Mosul – ISIL’s effective capital in Iraq and the largest city in its self-proclaimed caliphate.

The Iraqi military says it is now working to dismantle bombs and booby-trapped houses in Falluja, while pursuing fighters who have slipped out of the city.

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