Iraqi troops pause, await back-up in battle for Tikrit against militants




 
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March 14th, 2015  
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Topic: Iraqi troops pause, await back-up in battle for Tikrit against militants


By Ahmed Rasheed BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Iraqi forces and mainly Shi'ite militiamen battling to wrest full control of the city of Tikrit from Islamic State militants paused their offensive for a second day on Saturday as they awaited reinforcements, a military source said. More than 20,000 troops and Iranian-backed Shi'ite fighters entered Tikrit on Wednesday, having retaken areas to the north and south in Iraq's biggest offensive against the militants yet. Islamic State fighters still hold about half the city and have booby-trapped buildings and laid improvised explosive devices and roadside bombs, the source in the local military command center told Reuters. More "well-trained forces" were needed for the street-by-street battles that recapturing the city would require, the source said, speaking by phone from Tikrit.




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