Iraqi security forces and people gather at the site of a suspected airstrike at a Shiite mosque that happened last week during fighting in in Daquq, nearby Kirkuk, Iraq, October 24, 2016. REUTERS/Ako Rasheed
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Although the heaviest fighting was over by Friday night, clashes continued for two days and officials are still searching for Daesh units in the city.The blackened and bullet-ridden facade of two hotels near Kirkuk's governorate building, one of the targets of the attack, are a clear sign of its ferocity. The attack took place four days after the launch of an offensive against Daesh in Mosul by Kurdish peshmerga, Iraqi soldiers and a U.S.-led international coalition.The fighters appeared well-trained for urban combat, a sign that the battle for Mosul, Iraq's second-largest city, could be drawn out and bloody, according to Iraqi security officials. No local official was prepared to say the attack was completely over.The group broke up into 20 teams of five and fanned out across the city on foot.Back in Kirkuk, sleeper cells in the city helped the fighters, according to Iraqi security officials and a U.S. military official.As the extent of the attack became apparent, security officials called for reinforcements: Up to 3,000 peshmerga were called up from Irbil and Sulaimaniyah.
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