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Iraqi govt forces enter Mosul airport

Iraqi govt forces enter Mosul airportIraqi federal police pushed their way into the perimeter of Mosul International Airport on Thursday, taking control of the runway amid fierce exchanges of fire with Islamic State militants hunkered down in several airport buildings, police officials said.

This is reported by Associated Press.

The advance came as part of a major assault that started five days earlier to drive the Islamic State group from the western half of Mosul, Iraq's second-largest city.

After police forces pushed onto the airport grounds and seized the runway, they came under heavy fire from inside the buildings at the site, including the main airport building.

Heavy exchanges are underway. Troops from the U.S.-led coalition are with the advancing forces.

Earlier on Thursday, Iraqi special forces joined the government offensive for the western half of Mosul, pushing up to a sprawling, IS-held military base on the city's southern edge that's adjacent to the airport, officials said.

The elite counterterrorism forces moved toward the Ghazlani military base where fierce clashes erupted at the edge of the base, two special forces officers said.
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