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Mosul Battle: Iraqi Special Forces Enter City Limits
Source : BBC    Date : Tuesday 01 Nov, 2016 | 18:08 GMT
Iraqi forces have for the first time entered the outskirts of Mosul, as they attempt to drive Islamic State (IS) militants from the northern city.

Elite Counter-Terrorism Service troops seized control of the state TV building in Kukjali hours after launching an assault on the eastern district.

But a BBC journalist embedded with them says they are facing fierce resistance.

Army units are also pushing into the south-eastern Judaydat al-Mufti area, according to the military.

On Monday, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi told the 3,000 to 5,000 militants believed to be inside Mosul, which they overran in June 2014, that there was "no escape" and to "either surrender or die".

About 50,000 Iraqi security forces personnel, Kurdish fighters, Sunni Arab tribesmen and Shia militiamen are involved in the two-week-old offensive to drive IS militants out of their last major urban stronghold in the country.

Counter-Terrorism Service (CTS) units retook Bazwaya, the last village before Mosul's eastern outskirts, in a dawn assault on Monday and then advanced on the Kukjali industrial zone.

They moved out again shortly before first light on Tuesday, this time with the aim of entering the adjoining Kukjali residential area, which is within the city limits.

The troops have much more momentum than anybody expected up until this point, our correspondent says.

But, he adds, they are coming under attack from a number of different directions with a number of different weapons.
The troops have responded to the RPG, machine-gun and sniper fire with heavy weapons, and also by calling in air strikes by the US-led coalition against IS.
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