Iraq's armed forces stormed the center of Ramadi on Tuesday to try to dislodge Islamic State (IS) militants who have held the western city since May, said a spokesman for the counter-terrorism units.
The operation to recapture Ramadi, 60 miles west of Baghdad, began early last month after a months-long effort to cut off supply lines to the city, whose fall to IS was a major defeat for Iraq's weak central government.
"Our forces are advancing toward the government complex in the centre of Ramadi," said spokesman Sabah al-Numani. "The fighting is in the neighbourhoods around the complex, with support from the air force."
Iraqi intelligence estimates the number of IS fighters entrenched in the center of Ramadi, the capital of Western Anbar province, at between 250 and 300.
Retaking the city would provide a major psychological boost to Iraqi security forces after IS seized a third of Iraq, a major OPEC oil producer and US ally, last year.
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