Iraqi security forces claimed to have killed dozens of “terrorists” in overnight bombing raids on the rebel-controlled city of Tikrit, part of the territory captured this month in an offensive by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (known as Isis) and allied Sunni Arab militant groups.

State television announced on Sunday that Iraq’s counter-terrorism apparatus, in co-operation with the Iraqi air force, had killed more than 40 members of Isis and destroyed five trucks fitted with long-range rockets from their provincial stronghold in the city of Samarra.

“Tikrit and Samarra operation forces have succeeded in killing more than 42 terrorists and destroying 13 of their vehicles,” Maj Gen Qassem Atta, spokesman for the Iraqi armed forces, said in a televised briefing. “The forces are fully present, and Samarra forces are progressing in Salahaddin province; they’re insisting on completely purging this province.” […]