A member of the Iraqi security forces holds an Iraqi flag as they launch a rocket towards Islamic State militants in Tikrit March 31, 2015.REUTERS/Alaa Al-Marjani
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Iraqi forces battled ISIS militants holed up in downtown Tikrit, going house to house Tuesday in search of snipers and booby traps, and the prime minister said security forces had reached the heart of the city.Abdul-Wahab al-Saadi, the commander of the Salahuddin operation, said his forces fighting from the west were still 300 meters from the center of Tikrit.Army Lt. Gen. Talib Shaghati said at least 75 percent of Tikrit had been recaptured.The leader of Iraq's Popular Mobilization Units, a collaborative force made up mostly of Shiite militias, also said his fighters had rejoined the Tikrit operation, less than a week after announcing a boycott over U.S. involvement.The operation stalled until U.S. forces joined the offensive by launching airstrikes March 25 .
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