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Refugees from western Mosul closer to 100.000: ministry


Nineveh ( Refugees fleeing the western side of Mosul since February have reached nearly 100.000 as battles continue between Islamic State militants and Iraqi government troops seeking to recapture the region, the Iraqi government said Sunday.

Migration and Displacement Minister Jassem al-Jaff said the new surge came as the ministry’s teams received 10607 more civilians fleeing western Mosul, driving the total so far to 99852.

Those were admitted to camps in southern Mosul and Tikrit, according to the minister.

The United Nations and Iraqi refugee bodies have warned that battles in western Mosul could displace at least 250.000 out of 750.000 estimated to be trapped under IS control in western Mosul. Upon the launch of operations to recapture eastern Mosul last October, the United Nations predicted 1.5 million refugees.

ِA spokesperson of the Iraqi government said earlier this month that over four million people had been displaced inside Iraq since Islamic State took over large areas of Iraq in 2014, adding that the government spent 300 billion dinars since then to cater for refugees.

Islamic State has targeted civilians trying to escape areas under its control in Iraq, and many were killed by landmines planted by the group upon fleeing. The United Nations has also reported of severe food and medical stuff shortages affecting civilians in western Mosul. Iraqi security officials have, meanwhile, detected instances where IS militants tried to flee battles in the middle of refugee groups.

 Source: Iraqi News com, March 12, 2017

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