Shiite fighters from Hashid Shaabi (Popular Mobilization) inspect former Iraqi president Saddam Hussein's family cemetery in the Iraqi town of Ouja, near Tikrit March 17, 2015. REUTERS/Thaier Al-Sudani
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Iraq's offensive to retake Tikrit from ISIS was stalled Tuesday because of streets and buildings rigged with booby-trap bombs and by the several hundred jihadis still holding out there.Troops, police and militia fairly easily boxed the jihadis in over recent days but mopping them up is proving to be far harder.The assault on Tikrit, capital of Salahuddin province, began on March 2 .Staff Lt. Gen. Abdulwahab al-Saadi, commander for Salahuddin, told AFP Sunday his forces in Tikrit needed air support from the U.S.-led coalition.The longer the operation drags on, the longer civilians remaining in Tikrit will be caught in the middle.Iraq has formed paramilitary units dubbed the Popular Mobilization forces to fight alongside security forces.
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