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Iraqi State TV Says PM Visits Ramadi After Defeat Of IS

Iraq's state TV says Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has arrived in Ramadi to mark the city's liberation from Islamic State (IS) militants.

An Iraqi commander, Brigadier-General Ahmed al-Belawi, told the AP news agency that the prime minister began his tour with meetings with security and provincial officials.

Iraqi forces, backed by U.S.-led airstrikes, drove IS militants out of the city center and raised the Iraqi flag over the government complex there on December 28. But military officials said insurgents were still holed up in various pockets of the city.

Ramadi fell to the Islamic State extremist group in May, marking a major setback for Iraqi forces and the U.S.-led campaign.

U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter said on December 28 that "the expulsion of [IS] by Iraqi security forces … is a significant step forward in the campaign to defeat this barbaric group."

With reporting by AP and AFP