Iraqi government forces have successfully retaken a large part of north-eastern Tikrit as they battle IS militants to recapture the city, security officials say. Read more from the BBC:
Soldiers and Shia militiamen have reportedly raised the Iraqi flag at a hospital in the Qadisiya district, two-thirds of which is under their control.
But they have so far not made much progress in Tikrit’s south and west. The operation to retake the hometown of Saddam Hussein is the biggest offensive yet by the Iraqi government. Iran is helping to co-ordinate the 30,000 soldiers and militiamen involved, who are not being supported by US-led coalition air strikes
IS captured Tikrit last June after the Iraqi army collapsed in the face of a lightning advance by the group across northern and western Iraq.
On Wednesday, an Iraqi security official told the BBC that government forces had entered north-eastern Tikrit after 10 days of heavy fighting in towns and villages along the Tigris river to the north and south.