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Iraqi special forces soldiers use radio communication as a tank rolls down an alley in the village of Bazwaya, some 8 kilometers from the center of Mosul, Iraq, Oct. 31, 2016.

From Washington, this is VOA News.

I’m Frances Alonzo reporting.

Iraq's special forces entered Mosul city limits Tuesday. They are advancing toward its more urban center and are encountering fierce resistance by Islamic State group fighters who hold the city, according to an Iraqi special forces general.

The troops by noon, local time, were only 800 meters from the Karama district.

U.S. defense spokesman Peter Cook, on Monday, said they were pleased with the progress made thus far.

"We have seen reports from Iraqi forces that they are in some places less than a kilometer from Mosul itself. While distance is not the best measure of the fight ahead and the coalition's prepared for difficult fighting ahead, there's no question that counter-ISIL (Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant) forces continue to have the momentum in this fight."

The troops’ advance could be the start of a grueling and slow operation.

Russia’s Defense Minister said Tuesday a Western failure to rein in violent Islamists in Syria had indefinitely delayed the resumption of peace talks.

The minister says rebels, backed by Western governments, had attacked civilians in Aleppo, despite a pause in Russian and Syrian air attacks.

Pakistani opposition leader Imran Khan has called off a mass protest aimed at shutting down the capital and forcing the resignation of the prime minister.

Khan announced Tuesday he was calling off his “million men” rally, a day before it was due to take place in Islamabad. He says his supporters should instead “celebrate victory.”

With a week to go until Election Day, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are storming battleground states Tuesday. Trump was scheduled to speak in Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. And Clinton is in the must-win state of Florida.

You could follow VOA’s live election coverage on Tuesday, November 8 at VOANews.com.

This is VOA News.

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