Iraqi forces have ousted Islamic State (Isis) militants from Mosul University and liberated the entire campus along with southern and eastern areas on the left bank of the Tigris river.

Iraqi Counter-Terrorism Service (CTS) chief said the forces were close to capturing the entire east bank of the Tigris river that bisects the city into north and south. According to Reuters, this will bring at least half of Mosul under the control of the Iraqi government .

On early Saturday (14 January), CTS forces fought Isis militants at Mosul University as bulldozers smashed through a wall surrounding the campus.

Talib Shaghati, commander of the terrorism-combat service, said: "Security forces have fully liberated Mosul University. The forces seized chemicals in the laboratories of the universities and defused explosives and car bombs."

The troops still came under heavy fire but according to the soldiers, the resistance put up by the militant group was less than what they had faced in the initial stages of the Mosul offensive.

Lieutenant Zain al-Abadeen told the Associated Press: "We were targeted with only four car bombs where before (ISIL) would send 20 in one day. And they aren't armoured like before, they're just using civilian cars."

Lieutenant Colonel Abdel Amir al-Mohammedawi said: "The Yarimja area ... has been liberated, a large number of Daesh (Islamic State) elements were killed, and the rest fled to the right-hand side (western bank)."

The massive operation to recapture Mosul from the hard line militant group was launched on 17 October.

Clashes rage in Karama district as battle to retake Mosul continues Reuters