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Iraqi Forces Secure Ramadi After Ousting IS

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Smoke rises over destroyed Islamic State positions following a U.S.-led coalition air strike, as Iraqi Security forces enter the heavy damaged downtown Ramadi, 70 miles (115 kilometers) west of Baghdad, Iraq, Sunday, Dec. 27, 2015. (AP Photo)
Smoke rises over destroyed Islamic State positions following a U.S.-led coalition air strike, as Iraqi Security forces enter the heavy damaged downtown Ramadi, 70 miles (115 kilometers) west of Baghdad, Iraq, Sunday, Dec. 27, 2015. (AP Photo)

Iraqi military officials said they took back the city of Ramadi from Islamic State militants.

On Monday, Iraqi forces raised the national flag over the city's main government office. They swept the streets, searching for explosives and booby traps. The IS fighters could have put these in place before being ousted from the city.

IS militants had captured this capital of Anbar province in May.

Iraqi forces said small groups of jihadists may remain. But officials said troops have not faced resistance since jihadists fled Sunday. There have been no reliable reports of how many people were killed or wounded.

It is not clear how many civilians remain in central Ramadi. It is 115 kilometers, or 70 miles west of Baghdad. An Iraqi spokesman said most residents had taken shelter at a nearby hospital.

The Iraqi military prepared for months to take back Ramadi. They were backed by U.S.-led coalition air strikes. The Iraqi forces pushed into the center of Ramadi last week in an effort to secure the city.

The U.S. military said it carried out at least 29 air strikes on IS targets in the past week. More targets were hit Sunday.

Officials said air strikes Saturday targeted vehicles operated by IS fighters and a factory used to make suicide bombs for use on vehicles. Sniper positions were also hit.

I'm Mary Gotschall.

Mary Gotschall adapted this story for Learning English from VOA News. Kathleen Struck was the editor.

Do you have an opinion about this topic? Let us know what you think in the Comments section below, or on our Facebook page.

Words in This Story

explosive - n. a substance (such as dynamite) that is used to cause an explosion : an explosive substance

booby trap - noun phrase a hidden bomb that explodes when the object connected to it is touched, moved, etc.

jihadist - n. someone engaged in a war fought by Muslims to defend or spread their beliefs

coalition - n. a group of people, groups, or countries who have joined together for a common purpose

airstrike - n. an attack in which military airplanes drop bombs

suicide - n. the act of killing yourself because you do not want to continue living

sniper - n. a person who shoots at another person from a hidden place

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