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Number of displaced civilians from Iraq's Mosul nearing 100,000: IOM

Xinhua | Updated: 2016-12-15 23:39

GENEVA - Altogether 96,864 civilians have fled the Iraqi city of Mosul and its adjacent districts since military operations to reclaim one of the Islamic State (IS)'s last strongholds began in October, according to figures released by the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) Thursday.

Up from 82,698 a week ago, IOM data showed that 16,100 families have been forced to flee their homes as a result of almost two months of fierce fighting in the northern city.

Over three quarters of the displaced, or 76 percent, have ended up in formal camps, with the rest finding shelter in private settings, emergency sites and critical shelter arrangements.

According to IOM, Al-Hamdaniya district in Ninewa governorate is hosting most of the internally displaced people (70 percent), followed by Mosul (27 percent) and Hatra (1.5 percent).

Supported by Kurdish Peshmerga fighters, Iraqi troops kicked off operations on Oct 17 to recapture the city which fell into IS hands in June 2014 after government forces fled, enabling IS militants to take control of parts of Iraq's northern and western regions.

International aircraft as well as Iraqi and US-led coalition artillery units are supporting ground operations there.

According to reports, more than 5,000 IS militants were initially holed up in Mosul.

The UN Refugee Agency UNHCR had warned before operations started that as many as 1.2 million people could be forced to flee their homes.


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