Iraqi forces in full control of ISIS’s Ramadi
Iraqi officials say the army is now in “full control” of central Ramadi, where so-called Islamic State (IS) has been resisting an army offensive.
However there were still “pockets of resistance”, a spokesman for the provincial governor said.
A security source told the BBC IS suicide bombers were still inside a former government compound, which had earlier been declared retaken.
Ramadi fell to IS in May, in an embarrassing defeat for the army.
Iraqi government forces, backed by coalition air strikes, has been trying to retake the mainly Sunni Arab city for weeks.
“We believe that we do have full control of the centre of Ramadi,” Muhannad Haimour, spokesman for the Anbar governor, told the BBC.
“But we’re being very careful in declaring victory until we have an official announcement from the prime minister’s office.”
Mr Haimour said that would mean that area had been cleared of explosives, adding that officials now believed that IS militants were not “capable of launching any attacks on the security forces”.
The spokesman described the remaining pockets of resistance as “very weak”.
In recent days, troops have been picking their way through booby-trapped streets and buildings as they pushed towards the city centre, seizing several districts on the way.
Iraqi soldiers moved in to retake the former government compound after sniper fire stopped and aerial surveillance detected no human activity.
There were conflicting reports of whether IS fighters had been flushed out of the government compound.
Military spokesman Sabah al-Numani, told Reuters: “The complex is under our complete control, there is no presence whatsoever of [IS] fighters in the complex.
“By controlling the complex, this means that they have been defeated in Ramadi.”
However, a security source told the BBC Iraqi forces were in control of only some of the buildings in the complex, and that IS suicide bombers had fanned out in other parts of the compound.
The source said it might still be a few days before “full liberation” of the city is declared.
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