by Frontline Video; 3 Days to Centre of Tikrit

Sat Mar 14, 2015 19:31:42

Backed by their mainly Shi’ite militia allies, Iraqi forces have been waging fierce battles to secure neighborhoods of the strategic city, still in the hands of ISIL militants, Reuters reports.

Allied forces entered the city of Saddam’s hometown for the first time on Wednesday, from the north and south.

Officials said on Friday that their operations would be put on hold temporarily because of bombs planted by militants to hamper their progress.

Fighters attacking ISIS in Tikrit say the city will be liberated within three days despite militants laying explosives around the city to halt advances from Iraqi forces.

The claim was made by Karim al-Nuri, a top leader from the Badr militia and the spokesman of the volunteer Haashid Shaabi (Popular Mobilisation) units, who believes they'll overcome challenges posed by ISIS tactics to hold on, Independent reports.

Iraqi forces consisting mainly of Hashid Shaabi, have already taken more than half of the city but security officials told Reuters that ISIS fighters, sensing defeat, have laid improvised explosive devices around the city, halting any further advances.

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