Iraq's western city of Fallujah has been fully "liberated" from the Islamic State after more than five weeks of fighting there against the extremist militia, a senior Iraqi commander said on Sunday.

The chief of the counter-terrorism forces in Fallujah, Abdel-Wahab al-Saadi, said that government troops on Sunday recaptured Fallujah's northern district of al-Julan, the militants's last stronghold in the city.

"We break to the Iraqi people the glad news that the military operations in Fallujah are over," he told state broadcaster al-Iraqiya. "Fallujah has become fully liberated."

Al-Saadi added that around 1,800 militants have been killed in Fullajah fighting since May 23 when the Iraqi forces, backed by US-led airstrikes, started an offensive to retake the city.

He did not give figures about casualties among government forces.

Fallujah, around 50 kilometres west of the capital Baghdad, was the first Iraqi city to fall to Islamic State in early 2014. The al-Qaeda splinter group seized more territory in the country in a lightning attack months later.

On June 17, Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi announced victory over Islamic State in Fallujah. But fighting persisted inside the city between Iraqi troops and Islamic State.

Fallujah is a main city of the predominantly Sunni Anbar province.

Spokesman for Anbar police Yasser al-Dulaimi said that 32 Islamic State extremists and 10 Iraqi military personnel were killed in the fighting in al-Julan.

He told dpa that despite the announcement of "full liberation" of Fallujah, some militant remnants were still inside city.

"All pockets of Fallujah will be cleansed [of militants] in the next hours," al-Dulaimi said.

The onslaught for retaking Fallujah from Islamic State forced a massive exodus of locals from the city in the past weeks.

The Norwegian Refugee Council, an aid group, ruled out an imminent repatriation of those displaced.

"It is still too early to speak of returns for the tens of thousands of civilians who fled from Fallujah," the group’s director in Iraq Nasr Muflahi said on Sunday.

"We just do not know which areas are safe and which aren’t; we need a thorough de-mining of civilian areas and safety assessments before civilians are given the option to go back," he added in a statement.

The radical Sunni Islamic State still controls areas in Iraq's Sunni Arab north and west, including Mosul, the country's second-largest city.

Last week, the government launched a major attack aimed at retaking the strategic town of Qayyara south of Mosul from Islamic State.

The recapture of Qayyara would help isolate Mosul, located around 400 kilometres north of Baghdad.

Latest news

Syrian opposition rules out future role for President al-Assad

The Syrian opposition said Friday it would not accept any role for President Bashar al-Assad in the future of the war-torn country, reacting to a recent US shift saying that removing al-Assad is no longer a priority for Washington.

Russian Army integrates breakaway forces of Georgian province

Parts of the small fighting forces of the Georgian breakaway province of South Ossetia have been placed under Russian military control, Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu said on Friday.

Czech Republic's Pilsner Urquell beer is now Japanese

Japanese brewing company Asahi completed its takeover of the Czech brewery Pilsner Urquell on Friday, Asahi said in a statement.

Judge approves 25-million-dollar settlement of Trump University case

A US district judge on Friday approved a 25-million-dollar settlement of lawsuits and state fraud allegations against Trump University, the US president's now-defunct business venture.

Former Thai premier Thaksin to junta on reconciliation: 'Cut me out'

Former Thai prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra on Friday announced that he is not interested in the junta-led reconciliation process, three days after the junta handed him a half-a-billion-dollar tax bill for his past business deal.

Dalic: We welcome possible deal between Agrokor and banks

The government welcomes the possibility of an agreement being concluded between the Agrokor food company and creditor banks, and the bill on vitally important companies is not a fallback plan but the result of the government's care for the overall economic and financial stability of Croatia, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economy Martina Dalic told a press conference in Zagreb on Friday.

Croatia, China sign action plan for cooperation in agriculture

The Croatian and Chinese ministries of agriculture on Friday signed an action plan for cooperation in the field of agriculture for the period 2017-2018, the Croatian ministry said in a statement.

ZSE indices up, Agrokor shares in focus of investor interest

The Zagreb Stock Exchange (ZSE) indices on Friday rose by more than 1.8%, with stocks of the Agrokor food and retail concern being in the focus of investor interest again.

Berlin police defend handling of Berlin market attacker

Berlin police defended themselves on Friday against accusations that they stopped surveillance on Berlin Christmas market attacker despite knowing in June 2016 he was dangerous.

Croatia, creditors tailor emergency measures to save tottering giant

Croatia's tottering retail and food giant Agrokor reached an agreement with its creditors, putting its debts standby and allowing it to continue working during emergency restructuring, the Croatian branch of Austria's Erste Bank said Friday.

Agrokor's creditors say standstill agreement to go into force today

A standstill agreement regarding the Agrokor concern's existing financial obligations to banks will take effect on Friday, additional capital will be injected into the concern in the coming days and the concern will be actively restructured, which includes a change of its management, it was said on Friday after a meeting between Agrokor's suppliers and creditor banks.

Palestinians, UN slam Israel's new settlement plan

Palestinians, Israeli activists and the UN lambasted the government of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Friday, a day after it gave the go-ahead for the first new West Bank settlement in a quarter of a century.

South Sudan rebels release three abducted foreign oil workers

South Sudanese rebels have released three foreign engineers they abducted in early March in the oil-rich Upper Nile region, Foreign Affairs Ministry official Mawein Makol Arik said on Friday.

Turkish opposition: Imprisoned party chief has gone on hunger strike

The head of Turkey's pro-Kurdish opposition party has launched a hunger strike from prison.

European leagues threaten Champions League schedule clashes

The European Professional Football Leagues (EPFL) on Friday threatened schedule clashes on Champions League matchdays in an ongoing dispute with the governing body UEFA.

Danish court revokes citizenship of IS volunteer

A Danish appellate court on Friday stripped a man of his Danish citizenship for volunteering to fight for the extremist Islamic State in Syria.

Banks and Agrokor agree on key elements of standstill agreement

Member banks of the coordinating committee of financial creditors and representatives of the Agrokor food company have in principle agreed on key elements of a standstill agreement, which is expected to be signed later today, announcing changes in the company's management team, Erste Bank said in a statement on Friday afternoon.

Syrian man on trial in Sweden; mosque attack labelled terrorism

A Syrian man went on trial Friday in the southern Swedish city of Malmo, charged with terrorism and arson after an attack last year on a building used as an assembly hall by Shiite Muslims.