World Bulletin / News Desk
Iraqi troops and Shi'ite paramilitary fighters were battling Islamic State on Wednesday in northern Tikrit, which officials described as the Sunni Muslim militant group's last stronghold in the city.
Security forces were fighting to clear the last Islamic State stronghold, the northern neighborhood of Qadissiyah, Interior Minister Mohammed al-Ghabban told reporters in the city.
"Most of Tikrit today is liberated, only small parts remain (outside our control). We will give you the good news in the next few hours after eliminating the pockets that are still in the city," Ghabban said.
The city's streets were completely abandoned, and buildings scarred by gunfire.
Iranian-backed Shi'ite militia groups had returned to the battle on Tuesday after suspending their operations last Thursday, when Abadi requested U.S.-led air strikes.
The militias had opposed U.S.-led strikes, insisting that they could retake the city.
Last Mod: 01 Nisan 2015, 12:32