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Turkey says Al-Bab completely captured from jihadists

Al-Bab was IS's last stronghold in the northern province of Aleppo.

Turkish-backed Syrian rebels patrol through the town of al-Bab shortly after they captured it from the Islamic State (IS) group

"As of February 24, 2017, control of all neighbourhoods in Al-Bab have been secured" by opposition fighters supported by Ankara against the Islamic State group (IS), the army said in a statement.

"Activities continue to clear areas under control of obstacles, mines and hand-made explosives," the military said.

Al-Bab, which is 25 kilometres (15 miles) south of the Turkish border, was IS's last stronghold in the northern province of Aleppo.

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Syrian rebel commanders claimed the day before they had seized the town from IS militants, saying that it had been completely liberated.

Turkey launched its unilateral military operation last August supporting Syrian opposition fighters, targeting IS as well as Syrian Kurdish militia.

At the start of the operation dubbed "Euphrates Shield", the rebels swiftly captured Jarabulus, Al-Rai and Dabiq in northern Syria from IS jihadists.

After the lightning advance, the operation became mired in a drawn-out conflict in Al-Bab lasting two months as jihadists put up a stronger fight to keep the town.

It proved to be the bloodiest battle in Turkey's campaign, where Ankara suffered most of its 71 losses so far, including two soldiers who were killed in a suicide attack Friday, Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said.

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