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Iraq said security and allied forces backed by US-led coalition aircraft "liberated" the city of Tikrit on Tuesday, its biggest victory yet in the fight against Islamic State jihadists. The operation to retake the hometown of former president Saddam Hussein began on March 2 and had looked bogged down before Iraqi forces made rapid advances over the past 48 hours. Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi "announces the liberation of Tikrit and congratulates Iraqi security forces and popular volunteers on the historic milestone," his official Twitter account said. He was referring to paramilitary groups which played a major role in the fighting to retake Tikrit, a Sunni Arab city which IS had controlled since it captured swathes of Iraq in June.
FALL RIVER, Mass. (AP) — New England Patriots team owner Robert Kraft testified Tuesday that his former star tight end Aaron Hernandez told him he was innocent when asked if he was involved in a 2013 killing.