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Iraqi forces battled Sunday through booby-traps, sniper fire and suicide car bombs to tighten the noose around Mosul, while also hunting ISIS fighters behind attacks elsewhere in the country.Kurdish forces announced a new push at dawn on Bashiqa, northeast of Mosul, where some 10,000 fighters are engaged in a huge assault to take the ISIS-held town.The extremists Friday staged a surprise assault on Iraq's Kurdish-controlled city of Kirkuk, and two days later security forces were still tracking down ISIS fighters there.There was no sign it had any significant impact on the offensive to retake the city, Iraq's largest military operation in years.Engaged on the northern and eastern fronts, the peshmerga are expected to stop along a line at an average of 20 kilometers (12 miles) from the boundaries of the city proper.U.S. military officials have revised their estimate slightly upward for the number of ISIS fighters in and around Mosul.They believe ISIS is defending Mosul, where the "caliphate" was proclaimed in June 2014, with 3,000 to 5,000 fighters inside the city and 1,000 to 2,000 in the outskirts.
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