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Islamic State militants fought back vigorously overnight against an onslaught by the Iraqi army on a southern district of the city of Falluja, the group's bastion near Baghdad, officers said on Tuesday. Soldiers from the elite Rapid Response Team stopped their advance overnight about 500 meters (yards) from the al-Shuhada district, the southeastern part of city's main built-up area, an army commander and a police officer said. "Our forces came under heavy fire, they are well dug in in trenches and tunnels," said the commander speaking in Camp Tariq, the rear army base south of Falluja, 50 km (30 miles) west of Baghdad.
Embattled German auto giant Volkswagen said Tuesday that it was satisfied with business in the first quarter, despite falling sales and profits, and it would stick to its targets for the whole year. "The VW group put in a solid performance in the first three months," the statement said. "In view of the many challenges we're currently facing, we're satisfied overall with the start we made into what will undoubtedly be a challenging year," said chief executive Matthias Mueller.