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aqi forces have taken several districts of East Mosul as part of an offensive designed to clear Islamic State out of the city, their last stronghold in Iraq. I'm Michael Georgy, Reuters special correspondent for the Middle East. Special forces have taken about six districts of eastern Mosul.
They say about 75% of the area. We have visited a neighborhood in which Special Forces are slowly trying to root out Islamic State snipers who are across the frontline, basically, the Main Street cut through that area. They're not quite sure where the snipers are. So, you have Iraqi forces shooting machine guns, snipers occasionally shooting back.
Life is slowly returning to normal. People are standing outside their homes and shouting, but there's a general sense that a lot of uncertainty lay ahead. Especially with the campaign planned for western Mosul, which will be much trickier and much more dangerous. Well, residence are cautiously coming out of their homes during the day, in areas where they see a strong Special Forces presence.
But even one street away, where people were coming out and talking and children were playing, Special Forces recalled about five suicide bombers attacked their area with grenades and AK-47s. Luckily, for them, all but one were killed. People want a long-term presence of the army, they're worried that Islamic State will come back.
And will take a long time for physical and psychological recovery from two years of terror under ISIS.