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Iraqi troops retake 16 villages from militants

Monday, September 29, 2014 - 01:09

Iraq's Ministry of Defence says its forces have taken back 16 villages held by Islamic State militants in Diyala province. Vanessa Johnston reports.

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NATS -- (machine gun rounds) Intense fighting in Iraq's Diyala province. Iraq's Ministry of Defense says troops have recaptured 16 villages from Islamic State militants. One soldier hopes they can retake all of Diyala province by the Eid al-Adha holidays, starting October 4th. (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) UNIDENTIFIED SOLDIER, SAYING: "We have liberated almost all the areas and the rest will be liberated soon, and the joy of eid (al-adha) will be doubled." The Iraqi government says more than 100 Islamic State militants were killed in the fighting -- 25 vehicles were destroyed and 50 bombs diffused. Over in Anbar province, military chiefs inspect an area known as the Baghdad belt. Islamic State fighters swept through northern Iraq in June, seizing cities, including Mosul and Tikrit. But their recent moves suggest they are worried about U.S.-led air strikes, backed by the Iraqi army and the Kurdish peshmerga force on the ground.

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Iraqi troops retake 16 villages from militants

Monday, September 29, 2014 - 01:09