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Iraqi Army meets strong resistance from ISIL in second day of fresh Mosul offensive

Hundreds flee Mosul amid renewed heavy clashes between ISIL militants and the Iraqi Army.

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Iraqi Army meets strong resistance from ISIL in second day of fresh Mosul offensive

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ISIL militants have put up fierce resistance against the Iraqi Army in its second day of a fresh offensive to retake Mosul.

Fighting had previously stalled for two weeks, but in a multi-pronged assault, security forces backed by US-led airstrikes reportedly gained ground in the district of Intisar, in the east of the city.

Renewed heavy clashes have pushed hundreds of people to flee Mosul.

“Enough is enough. We are fed up. Let the people leave,” said one local man. “If ISIL are really men they should let the people leave and confront the army. Enough. The people are tired of having to have beards and other things. If you are really brave, let the people out and fight alone. Yes, and all the people want to be rid of ISIL’s lies.”

Over the past ten weeks, US-backed forces have retaken a quarter of Mosul, ISIL’s last major stronghold in Iraq.

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has expressed hope the group will have been driven from the country by April, 2017.