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Iraqi Forces Face Tough Fight In Bid To Retake Town From IS


Iraqi forces are facing heavy resistance as they push toward the center of a town held by Islamic State (IS) militants in western Anbar Province.

Hit lies along the Euphrates River in a valley in Anbar's sprawling desert. It sits along an IS supply line linking territory controlled by the extremist Sunni group in Iraq and in Syria.

Iraqi forces, backed by air strikes, entered Hit on April 4, a week after launching an operation to retake the town.

Their advance has been stalled as tens of thousands of civilians got trapped in the fighting.

Iraqi commanders overseeing the operation said on April 5 that the speed of the advance into Hit will depend on the fighting.

General Husham al-Jabri said Iraqi counterterrorism forces were hit with a barrage of mortars and a string of suicide car bombings early on April 5 as they pushed into Hit from the north. He didn't give casualty figures.

Based on reporting by AP
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