Iraqi army makes gains in ISIL-held Falluja
May 29, Fallujah: Iraqi government forces have made gains in their offensive to drive Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) militants from Falluja - one the country's two major cities in IS hands.
The nearby town of Karma, the first line of IS defence, is now in the army's hands, reports said.
Hundreds of people fled the besieged city about 60km west of the capital, Baghdad, on Friday amid rapidly deteriorating humanitarian conditions as fighting between Iraqi forces and ISIL fighters intensified.
Large numbers of elite combat troops have also been deployed near Falluja. But ISIL hit back north of Falluja, killing and injuring some Iraqi forces in a suicide car bomb attack.
A counter-attack south of the city was repelled with the help of helicopter gunships, the BBC reports.
This comes just days after the IS commander in Falluja, Maher al-Bilawi, was killed along with dozens militants in US-led coalition air strikes, according to Washington.
The Oslo Times