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Iraq says launches offensive on Islamic State north of Baghdad

BAGHDAD - Iraq's army and Shi'ite militia have launched a long-awaited offensive against Islamic State in Salahuddin province, a stronghold of the radical Islamist fighters north of Baghdad, Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said on Sunday.
The ultra-radical fighters control several strongholds in the mainly Sunni Muslim province of Salahuddin, including Tikrit, hometown of executed former president Saddam Hussein.They also hold other towns on the Tigris river, north of the government-held city of Samarra which Abadi visited on Sunday.
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