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COMING UP:Share Opener Variant 2



>> The morning after an overnight raid to retake the heart of Western Mosul. US backed Iraqi forces storming the main government buildings in the battle to drive out Islamic State militants still entrenched in the city. Also taken, the city's main museum and central bank branch, looted by IS when they took Mosul in 2014.
And Islamic State's justice court, known for delivering harsh sentences such as stonings, throwing people from buildings and chopping off hands. Video released by a news agency affiliated with Islamic State shows militants firing back to defend their positions. The white van is said to be driven by a suicide bomber heading for Iraqi forces, a popular tactic of the group.
All though the government buildings are reported to be largely destroyed, they are a strategic and symbolic win towards restoring authority over the divided city. Recapturing them will help Iraqi forces attack the militants in the nearby old city center. The US military says Islamic State is vastly outnumbered and disorganized with some foreign fighters trying to leave.
But those still fighting are putting up fierce resistance to hold on to their last major stronghold in Iraq.