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Officials Say Iraqi Troops Regain Control Of Samarra

Security officials say Iraqi troops have regained control of the central city of Samarra after Al-Qaeda-linked militants earlier on June 5 seized parts of the city.

The officials said elite troops backed by helicopters drove fighters from the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) out of the city.

Dozens of militants were reported killed in the fighting.

The heavily armed fighters had entered the city from several directions earlier in the day, raiding a number of military checkpoints.

Samarra, a city of some 350,000 people, is home to the Golden Mosque, one of Shi'ite Islam's holiest sites. The Al-Qaeda-linked rebels are Sunnis.

Sunni rebels have controlled parts of the western province of Anbar since January, fighting off security forces and militiamen loyal to the Shi'ite-led government.

Based on reporting by Reuters and dpa