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MOSUL, Iraq (AP) — Iraqi and U.S. commanders are offering conflicting accounts of progress in western Mosul, where U.S.-backed Iraqi forces have been battling the Islamic State group for nearly a month as they try to retake the remainder of the city.
Maj. Gen. Joseph Martin, the American commander of coalition ground forces in Iraq, says the troops have recaptured "a little over a third" of neighborhoods west of the Tigris River, while Brig. Gen. Yahya Rasool, an Iraqi military spokesman, says they have retaken up to 60 percent, with fighting still underway. Iraq declared eastern Mosul "fully liberated" in January.
Iraqi officials have overstated gains in the past, declaring areas liberated from IS militants only to see the resumption of fighting or militant attacks. The extremists have targeted eastern Mosul with bombings and other attacks on several occasions in recent weeks.
Front-line commanders say progress has been slow over the past week, with troops advancing just a few hundred yards in the face of IS car bomb attacks.
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