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MOSUL, Iraq – Iraqi commanders say that their forces have secured less than a quarter of Mosul University Saturday as they face stiff resistance from Islamic State fighters in the battle for control of the city.
Brig. Gen. Haider Fadhil and Lt. Gen. Abdul-Wahab al-Saadi said that Iraqi forces continued to push into the university compound from the southeast a day after they first breached the grounds Friday morning. Thick clouds of black smoke rose over the sprawling complex Saturday morning. Mortar fire and gunshots could be heard from ongoing clashes.
The massive operation to retake Mosul, Iraq's second largest city, from IS was launched in October. Since then Iraqi forces have slowly clawed back about a third of the city.