An Iraqi government forces member holds a rocket-propelled grenade (RPG) near the Falahat village west of Fallujah on June 27, 2016. / AFP / MOADH AL-DULAIMI
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Iraq's army sought Monday to eliminate ISIS fighters holed up in farmland west of Fallujah to keep them from launching a counterattack on the city, a day after the government declared victory over the militants there.Colonel Ahmed al-Saidi, who participated in Monday's advance, said ground forces were moving cautiously to avoid triggering roadside bombs planted by ISIS.The insurgents mounted limited resistance to Iraqi forces earlier this month inside Fallujah before scattering after some commanders abandoned the fight, according to Iraqi officials.Control of Fallujah is now shared between the army, elite counter-terrorism forces and federal police. Some fighters from Shiite Muslim militias, which have held several outlying areas for months, are also present inside Fallujah proper.Central districts of Fallujah, which in January 2014 became the first Iraqi city to fall to ISIS, were mostly quiet on Monday as bomb-removal operations along roadways and in buildings began in earnest.
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