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Iraqi troops reach centre of Tal Afar in battle to oust Islamic State

Iraqi forces have advanced into the centre of the Islamic State-held town of Tal Afar, military chiefs said.

Brigadier General Yahya Rasool said troops took control of several neighbourhoods on Friday as they advanced towards the centre of town and are at the outskirts of the neighbourhood of al-Qalaa.

Brigadier General Haider Fadhil of Iraq's special forces, said the US-led coalition provided air cover while Iraqi troops pushed into the town's centre. Clashes are continuing with IS militants, he added.

Tal Afar is about 90 miles from Syria's border and is among the last IS-held towns in Iraq.

On Thursday, US Army Colonel Ryan Dillon, the spokesman for the coalition in Iraq, said the militants were "completely surrounded" in Tal Afar and were "being killed".

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