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Fierce resistance on first day of battle for Mosul

Iraq

Fierce resistance on first day of battle for Mosul

A force comprising thousands of Kurdish and Iraqi army soldiers wrested territory from the Islamic State outside the northern city of Mosul on Monday, facing occasionally fierce resistance at the start of a long-promised offensive to dislodge the extremists from their main stronghold in Iraq. Kurdish forces moved to take a string of villages east of the captive city while Iraqi army and police units made a push from the south, a rare display of coordination and harmony between rival forces that officials hailed as a significant victory in itself. Announced before dawn in a televised address by Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi, the battle is the most ambitious offensive launched by Iraq's security forces since they were created after the U.S.-led invasion in 2003.

United Nations: The warring parties in Yemen have agreed to a 72-hour cease-fire that is to take effect shortly before midnight Wednesday, the U.N. special envoy to Yemen announced Monday. The envoy expressed hope that the cease-fire would lead "to a permanent and lasting end to the conflict."

Russia: Russian and Syrian forces will halt their offensive in the eastern districts of the Syrian city of Aleppo for eight hours on Thursday to allow civilians and rebels to leave the embattled city, the Russian Defense Ministry announced on Monday.

Cape Canaveral: One of NASA's main delivery companies, Orbital ATK, made a triumphant comeback Monday night, launching its first shipment to the International Space Station from Virginia since a rocket explosion two years ago. The spacecraft is scheduled to reach the station Sunday to deliver 5,100 pounds of cargo and supplies to the astronauts there.

Phoenix: Federal prosecutors on Monday charged Sheriff Joe Arpaio of Maricopa County, Ariz., with criminal contempt of court, saying he willfully defied a judge's orders to stop targeting Latinos — including citizens and legal immigrants — in traffic stops and other law enforcement efforts, behavior the judge said showed a pattern of discriminatory policing.

Washington: The Pentagon has sent a Mauritanian prisoner who wrote a best-selling memoir about his captivity at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, home after 14 years at the military prison. Mohamedou Ould Slahi, whose release was approved by a government panel in July, was moved to Mauritania on Monday, said Lt. Col. Valerie Henderson, a U.S. military spokeswoman.

Times wires

Fierce resistance on first day of battle for Mosul 10/17/16 [Last modified: Monday, October 17, 2016 11:45pm]
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