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  1. ITV Report

Iraqi general: 'Operation to liberate Mosul has really begun'

The Iraqi general in charge of the advance into eastern Mosul has hailed the progress being made in reclaiming the Islamic State-held city.

Iraqi forces seized the state television station earlier today, marking the first important milestone in the battle to recapture the city.

"The capture of the TV station is very significant," the general said. "It shows the operation to liberate Mosul has really begun."

Iraqi army crack units advanced in armoured vehicles today, as Iraqi security forces and IS fighters exchanged sporadic fire throughout the day.

Armoured vehicles advance towards eastern Mosul. Credit: ITV News

At a staging post on the way to the front line, ITV News saw armoured vehicles racing back along the route of the advance to deliver injured people to ambulances.

More than one million people still live in Mosul, and IS is believed to be holding tens of thousands of them hostage.

South of the city, Mosul residents have been moving towards the government's advance.

Although Iraqi forces have lauded the progress made, the mission to fully expel extremists from the region is far from over, and the battle to recapture Mosul promises to be a long and bloody one.

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