Iraqi special forces soldiers walk past pots that are being made into improvised explosive devices (IEDs) at a factory used by ISIS militants to manufacture home made bombs in Bazwaia, east of Mosul, Iraq October 27, 2016. REUTERS/Zohra Bensemra
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Iraqi special forces east of Mosul probed a network of underground tunnels and uncovered a bomb-making facility on Thursday in a village recently retaken from ISIS as their allies battled the militants in a push toward the city from the south.Gen. Najim al-Jabori said forces south of Mosul retook the town of Staff al-Tut in the Tigris River valley the day before, and are now 20 miles (35 kilometers) from the city.The special forces, who are 5 1/2 miles (9 kilometers) east of the city, continued cleanup operations in the village of Tob Zawa. Many fear ISIS may resort to more brutal tactics as the forces converge on the city, which is still home to more than a million people.The Mosul offensive is the largest Iraqi military operation since the 2003 U.S.-led invasion, and involves more than 25,000 Iraqi soldiers, Federal Police, Kurdish forces, Sunni tribal fighters and state-sanctioned Shiite militias.
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