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Iraqi forces clear Dhuluiyah of ISIS militants

Pro-government forces had pushed into the town from the north two days earlier, fighting their way south.

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Iraqi forces on Tuesday completed the recapture of the town of Dhuluiyah, parts of which had been held by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) group for months, commanders said.

Pro-government forces had pushed into the town, located 90 kilometers outside Baghdad, from the north two days earlier, fighting their way south.

"Forces from the army and the police and (militiamen) and tribal fighters succeeded today in regaining control of Dhuluiyah," an army major general told AFP.

The officer said that 50 military vehicles advanced from the north and linked up with allied forces in the town's southern Jubur area, which resisted repeated assault by ISIS.

This "means the complete liberation of Dhuluiyah and the end of the (ISIS) presence," he added.

A leader in the Shiite Badr militia, which took part in the operation, confirmed the "complete liberation of Dhuluiyah".

"We succeeded in breaking the blockade which was imposed by (ISIS) on the Jubur tribe," the commander said.

People fired in the air and honked car horns in celebration, according to a policeman in the town, which is strategically located on roads linking the eastern province of Diyala to Salaheddin province in the north.

In October, Iraqi forces retook most of Dhuluiyah from ISIS, but the jihadists later launched a counter-offensive and were able to recapture ground.

Since Sunday government forces backed by Sunni tribesmen and Shiite militiamen have been clearing bombs and other explosives placed by the militants in various parts of the town.

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