Iraqi helicopters launch airstrikes in militant-held Tikrit

Baghdad: The Iraqi military and witnesses say government helicopter gunships have conducted airstrikes in the northern city of Tikrit.

 Iraqi helicopters launch airstrikes in militant-held Tikrit

Representational image. AP

Tikrit is the hometown of former dictator Saddam Hussein and one of two major cities to fall in recent weeks to the al-Qaeda breakaway Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant and allied Sunni militants.

Chief Iraqi military spokesman Lt Gen Qassim al-Moussawi says the air raids targeted Sunni insurgents attacking army troops, who have established a bridgehead at a university campus on the city's northern outskirts.

Government troops were ferried in by helicopter to the sprawling campus early Friday morning.

A Tikrit resident confirmed that air raids took place at the University of Tikrit around dawn Saturday. He spoke on condition of anonymity out of fear for his safety.

AP

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Updated Date: Jun 28, 2014 15:03:50 IST