Members of Al-Hashd al-Shaabi run in the longtime insurgent bastion of Hawija. The Shiite-dominated paramilitary units were fighting alongside government forces. REUTERS/Stringer
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Iraqi forces retook one of last two enclaves of Daesh (ISIS) in the country Thursday, overrunning the longtime insurgent bastion of Hawijah after an intense two-week offensive.Iraqi forces celebrated after entering the town, posing with upside down Daesh flags and flashing V-for-victory signs after riding in tanks and armored personnel carriers, an AFP photographer reported.The United Nations said this week that an estimated 12,500 people had fled since the launch of the offensive to retake the town and surrounding areas last month.The United Nations' humanitarian affairs office said the number of people still in the town was unknown but could be as high as 78,000 . Daesh seized swaths of territory in Iraq and Syria during a lightning offensive in the summer of 2014 that was followed by its declaration of a cross-border "caliphate".
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