Displaced people who had fled from Hammam al-Alil, south of Mosul, head to safer territory, Iraq November 6, 2016. REUTERS/Thaier Al-Sudaini
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Troops from the elite Counter Terrorism Service broke into Mosul Monday and have taken seven eastern districts, their first foothold in the Daesh stronghold since the army retreated in disarray from northern Iraq two years ago.Maj. Gen. Maan al-Sadi, a CTS commander, told state television Daesh fighters had launched more than 100 car bombs against his forces in the east, which is just one of several fronts in the Mosul offensive.Late Friday, a CTS unit came under attack from the rear after advancing into east Mosul, said a colonel in the 9th Armored Division which is also taking part in operations there.While the army and special forces have been pushing in to Mosul from the east, Kurdish peshmerga fighters are holding territory to the northeast, and mainly Shiite militias have sought to seal off the desert routes to Syria to the west.Many of those still in Mosul feel trapped, including those in districts which the army says it has entered.
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