Iraqi civilians flee through a destroyed house as Iraqi Special Forces move toward Islamic State militant positions in the Old City of Mosul, Iraq, Friday, June 30, 2017. (AP Photo/Felipe Dana)
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Iraqi troops were clearing up a key neighborhood in Mosul Friday, commanders said, a day after making significant gains against Daesh (ISIS) militants in the city and after the country's prime minister declared an end to the extremist group's self-proclaimed caliphate.Saadi said his forces were also continuing to push forward from the Old City and Friday reached within 700 meters of the Tigris River, which divides Mosul roughly into an eastern and western half.The operation to retake Mosul, closely backed by the U.S.-led coalition, was launched in October, with the Iraqi government initially pledging the city would be liberated in 2016 .While Daesh has not confirmed any Mosul losses, its media arm, the Amaq news agency, carried reports of fierce fighting Friday on the city's outskirts and in the neighborhoods of Bab Jadid, Al-Mashahda and Bab al-Beidh, claiming Daesh fighters killed more than 50 Iraqi soldiers there.Nearly 1,000 civilians fled the Old City Thursday, according to Col. Ali al-Kenani, an Iraqi intelligence officer at a west Mosul screening center.
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