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Iraqi special forces have started an operation to storm Fallujah, the Islamic State group’s stronghold near Baghdad.

According to reports, a military unit has already entered the city.

Iraqi security forces last week freed several villages from Islamic State (IS) militants in an offensive continued for the second day around the city of Fallujah in Iraq’s Anbar province.

Also on last Tuesday, two suicide bombers detonated their explosive packed trucks near an army convoy near the militant-seized town of Saqlawiyah, in north of Fallujah, destroying four military vehicles and killing ten soldiers and wounding nine others, the source told Xinhua news agency.

The twin suicide bombings were followed by attack of dozens of IS militants on the nearby security positions, but air strikes by US-led coalition warplanes foiled them, killing 25 IS militants and destroying seven of their vehicles, the source added.

Separately, an Iraqi army helicopter gunship destroyed an explosive-laden car and killed its suicide bomber in Garma town in Rashad area, some 10 km northeast of Fallujah, he said.

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi announced the launch of the offensive to claim Fallujah.