BAGHDAD - Iraqi troops and security forces advanced towards Mosul from the south and southeast of the city on Sunday, Iraqi officials said, backed by air and ground support from a US-led coalition as they edged closer to the Islamic State stronghold.
A military statement said the army's ninth armoured division took the village of Ali Rash, about 7 km (4 miles) southeast of Mosul, and raised the Iraqi flag.
Further south, an officer said Interior Ministry security forces were advancing from the town of al-Shura, recaptured from Islamic State on Saturday, along the Tigris river valley towards Mosul, about 30 km (20 miles) to the north.
The officer said they were heading in the direction of Hammam al-Alil, midway between al-Shura and Mosul, and the last major town before Mosul itself, Iraq's second largest city.
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