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Kurdish fighters in Iraq push deeper into town of Sinjar, face stiff resistance from IS group

  • Kurdistan Iraqi regional government President Massoud Barzani arrives to support Kurdish forces as they head to battle Islamic State militants, on the summit of Mount Sinjar, in the town of Sinjar, Iraq, Sunday, Dec. 21, 2014. Iraqi Kurdish fighters pushed their way Sunday into the town of Sinjar, backed by U.S.-led coalition airstrikes against Islamic State militants who captured the town last summer. Loud explosions and intense gunbattles were heard from inside the town. Barzani vowed to crush the Islamic State group as fighting rages in Sinjar. (AP Photo/Zana Ahmed)

    Kurdistan Iraqi regional government President Massoud Barzani arrives to support Kurdish forces as they head to battle Islamic State militants, on the summit of Mount Sinjar, in the town of Sinjar, Iraq, Sunday, Dec. 21, 2014. Iraqi Kurdish fighters pushed their way Sunday into the town of Sinjar, backed by U.S.-led coalition airstrikes against Islamic State militants who captured the town last summer. Loud explosions and intense gunbattles were heard from inside the town. Barzani vowed to crush the Islamic State group as fighting rages in Sinjar. (AP Photo/Zana Ahmed)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE - In this Sunday, Dec. 21, 2014 photo, Iraqi Kurdish forces head to battle Islamic State militants, on the summit of Mount Sinjar, in Iraq. Kurdish fighters in Iraq pushed deeper Monday, Dec. 22, 2014 into the town of Sinjar, held by the Islamic State group, but are facing stiff resistance from the Sunni militants who captured it in August. (AP Photo/Dalton Bennett, File)

    FILE - In this Sunday, Dec. 21, 2014 photo, Iraqi Kurdish forces head to battle Islamic State militants, on the summit of Mount Sinjar, in Iraq. Kurdish fighters in Iraq pushed deeper Monday, Dec. 22, 2014 into the town of Sinjar, held by the Islamic State group, but are facing stiff resistance from the Sunni militants who captured it in August. (AP Photo/Dalton Bennett, File)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE - In this Sunday, Dec. 21, 2014 file photo, Iraqi Kurdish forces head to battle Islamic State militants, on the summit of Mount Sinjar, in Iraq. Kurdish fighters in Iraq pushed deeper Monday, Dec. 22, 2014 into the town of Sinjar, held by the Islamic State group, but are facing stiff resistance from the Sunni militants who captured it in August. (AP Photo/Dalton Bennett, File)

    FILE - In this Sunday, Dec. 21, 2014 file photo, Iraqi Kurdish forces head to battle Islamic State militants, on the summit of Mount Sinjar, in Iraq. Kurdish fighters in Iraq pushed deeper Monday, Dec. 22, 2014 into the town of Sinjar, held by the Islamic State group, but are facing stiff resistance from the Sunni militants who captured it in August. (AP Photo/Dalton Bennett, File)  (The Associated Press)

Kurdish fighters in Iraq have pushed deeper into the town of Sinjar, held by the Islamic State group, but are facing stiff resistance from the Sunni militants who captured it in August.

One of the fighters, Bakhil Elias, says clashes overnight and on Monday have been "fierce" and that IS militants are using snipers. At least two Kurdish peshmerga fighters have been killed by snipers and 25 were wounded in the latest fighting.

Large plumes of black smoke are billowing into the sky from inside the town.

The Kurdish forces say the militants are burning tyres and oil to create a smoke screen with the thick dark clouds and obstruct airstrikes against their positions by the U.S-led coalition.

Last week, the Kurdish peshmerga fighters launched the operation to retake Sinjar.