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Iraqi Forces Battling For Control Of Fallujah Repel IS Attack


Smoke rises from clashes near Fallujah on May 30.

Iraqi military officers say pro-government forces battling their way into Fallujah have repelled a counterattack by Islamic State (IS) militants in the city’s south.

The officers said the four-hour attack started at dawn on May 31 in the Nuaimiya area, where Iraqi troops began their assault on the city itself the previous day.

Lieutenant General Abdelwahab al-Saadi, the overall commander of the Fallujah operation, said around 100 IS fighters took part in the attack and that 75 of them were killed.

He did not give a figure for casualties on the government side.

Pentagon spokesman Jeff Davis said the Fallujah offensive was "tough."

"The past two days have shown" that the IS group "intends to put up a fight for it," he said.

Fallujah, 65 kilometers west of Baghdad, has been under IS control for over two years and is the last major city in western Iraq still under control of the Sunni extremist group.

The militants still control patches of territory in the country's north and east as well as the country's second-largest city, Mosul.

Based on reporting by AP and AFP