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Iraqi Troops Seize Government Buildings in Western Mosul

Iraqi security forces advance during fighting against Islamic State militants, in western Mosul, Iraq, March 6, 2017.

Iraq's military said Tuesday its forces recaptured control of the main government buildings in western Mosul from Islamic State militants.

The advance is part of an offensive, supported by airstrikes from a U.S.-led coalition, to take back what is the last major city in Iraq still held by Islamic State.

The militant group swept into Mosul in mid-2014 as it took control of large areas in northern and western Iraq, as well as eastern Syria.

Iraq took back eastern Mosul in January after several months of fighting.Now the focus is across the Tigris River, where the new offensive began two weeks ago.

Bridges connecting the two sides of the city have been badly damaged or destroyed, but the Iraqi military says it now controls the western side of two of the bridges, raising the prospect they could be used to more easily move troops and supplies.

The fighting in Mosul has raised humanitarian concerns for the hundreds of thousands of people living there, and aid organizations have reported several thousand people fleeing each day.