Iraq’s military said on Friday its forces had advanced on three fronts to begin clearing Islamic State militants from the western city of Ramadi, but police and government officials said progress was extremely slow.

The announcement by the joint operations command came as Kurdish forces declared victory over Islamic State in the northern town of Sinjar, which could help build momentum in pushing back the hardline Sunni militants elsewhere.

But a suicide bomb attack in Baghdad and a second day of violence between Kurds and Shi’ite Turkmen further north were reminders of the ethnic and sectarian conflicts exacerbated by Islamic State’s rise. […]