Smoke rises after clashes in Tikrit, 130 kilometers (80 miles) north of Baghdad, Iraq, Saturday, March 14, 2015. Iraqi military officials have said they expect to reach the center of Tikrit within two to three days. (AP Photo/Khalid Mohammed)
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Islamic State fighters traded sniper fire and mortar rounds with Iraqi troops and allied Shi'ite militia forces on Sunday in the city of Tikrit amid reports the militants had used chlorine as a chemical weapon elsewhere in the country earlier this year.A military official returned from the front in Tikrit said no major advances were made by either side nearly two weeks into an operation to win back the city IS fighters seized last June.Iraqi Kurdish authorities said on Saturday they had proof the radical Islamist militants occupying large parts of the country's north and west used chlorine against Kurdish peshmerga fighters in January in a car bombing attempt west of the city of Mosul.The military campaign to retake Tikrit has been stalled since Friday, when security officials said Iraqi forces and their militia allies would wait for reinforcements before moving forward.
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