Middle East

Iraqi special forces enter center of IS-held Fallujah

  • In this Tuesday, June 14, 2016 photo, Iraqi security forces advance their positions during heavy fighting against Islamic State group militants in Fallujah, Iraq. Iraqi special forces entered the center of Fallujah city early Friday,June 17, 2016, taking over a government complex and a neighborhood that served as a base for the Islamic State group militants after intense fighting, a commander said. Commander Haidar al-Obeidi, of the special forces, told The Associated Press that the forces are now besieging the nearby central hospital, clashing with IS snipers in adjacent buildings. (AP Photo/Anmar Khalil)

    In this Tuesday, June 14, 2016 photo, Iraqi security forces advance their positions during heavy fighting against Islamic State group militants in Fallujah, Iraq. Iraqi special forces entered the center of Fallujah city early Friday,June 17, 2016, taking over a government complex and a neighborhood that served as a base for the Islamic State group militants after intense fighting, a commander said. Commander Haidar al-Obeidi, of the special forces, told The Associated Press that the forces are now besieging the nearby central hospital, clashing with IS snipers in adjacent buildings. (AP Photo/Anmar Khalil)  (The Associated Press)

  • Iraqi security forces enter central Fallujah after fight against the Islamic State militants, Iraq, Friday, June 17, 2016. Iraqi special forces entered the center of Fallujah city early Friday, taking over a government complex and a neighborhood that served as a base for the Islamic State group militants after intense fighting. (AP Photo)

    Iraqi security forces enter central Fallujah after fight against the Islamic State militants, Iraq, Friday, June 17, 2016. Iraqi special forces entered the center of Fallujah city early Friday, taking over a government complex and a neighborhood that served as a base for the Islamic State group militants after intense fighting. (AP Photo)  (The Associated Press)

  • Iraqi security forces enter central Fallujah after fight against the Islamic State militants, Iraq, Friday, June 17, 2016. Iraqi special forces entered the center of Fallujah city early Friday, taking over a government complex and a neighborhood that served as a base for the Islamic State group militants after intense fighting. (AP Photo)

    Iraqi security forces enter central Fallujah after fight against the Islamic State militants, Iraq, Friday, June 17, 2016. Iraqi special forces entered the center of Fallujah city early Friday, taking over a government complex and a neighborhood that served as a base for the Islamic State group militants after intense fighting. (AP Photo)  (The Associated Press)

An Iraqi commander says special forces have entered the center of Fallujah city, taking over a government complex after intense fighting with Islamic State group militants.

Commander Haidar al-Obeidi, of the special forces, tells The Associated Press Friday that the forces are now besieging the nearby central hospital.

He says troops entered the city center around 6 a.m. local time (0300GMT) after intense fighting with Islamic State militants and with air support from the US-led coalition and Iraqi air force. He said Iraqi forces are now clearing roadside bombs near the government complex, which includes the municipality offices that IS had torched, the police station and other government buildings.

He says special forces believe militants are hiding in areas nearby and the search for them continues.