BAGHDAD — Clashes broke out Tuesday between Iraqi security forces and militants on the outskirts of Tikrit, a local official and a resident said, a day after the Iraqi and Kurdish troops backed by U.S. airstrikes dislodged Islamic militants from a strategic dam in the country's north.
The clashes began on the southwestern outskirts of the militant-held city of Tikrit, about 80 miles north of the capital, when a military convoy was traveling along the main highway that links Baghdad with the northern provinces, they said.
The Iraqi military shelled militant positions inside and outside the city, they said. There were no immediate reports of casualties. Both spoke on condition of anonymity, fearing their safety.
Sunni extremists from Islamic State group have occupied Tikrit and the northern city of Mosul since early June, as well as large parts of the country's north and west. The militant onslaught has plunged Iraq into its worst crisis since the withdrawal of U.S. troops in 2011.
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