Nearly 100,000 Iraqis flee battle for west Mosul

Thursday 16 March 2017 2 weeks ago 16   Washington   Print

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Report  Web desk : Nearly 100,000 people have poured out of west Mosul in less than three weeks, the IOM said Wednesday, as Iraqi forces advance in their battle to retake the area from jihadists. Iraqi security forces launched a major push last month to recapture west Mosul, the most populated urban area still held by the Islamic State group with an estimated 750,000 residents when the battle began. Iraqi special forces units and police have made steady progress in the area, forcing IS out of a series of neighbourhoods and retaking important sites such as the airport, Mosul museum, train station and provincial government headquarters. But the battle for west Mosul which is smaller but more densely populated than the eastern side which Iraqi forces recaptured earlier this year has pushed a flood of people to flee their homes. Between February 25 and March 15, more than 97,000 people have been displaced from west Mosul, the International Organization for Migration said on its official Twitter account. It marks an increase of around 17,000 from the displacement figure the IOM released the previous day, though this does not necessarily indicate that all of those additional people fled in the past 24 hours.(01)