Thursday, December 1, 2016

Over 76,000 Iraqi people displaced by Mosul military operations, UN relief wing says

The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said that more than 76,000 Iraqi people have been displaced by the military operations in Mosul, Farhan Haq, the deputy UN spokesman, told reporters here Wednesday.

OCHA said that "current displacement in the context of the Mosul military operation in Iraq has risen to more than 76,000 people, an increase of over 2,500 people since yesterday," Haq said at a daily news briefing here.

The rise represented "the largest increase recorded for several days," Haq added.

A UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) camp at Amalla, north of Tel Afar, was ready to receive more than 3,000 displaced families, the United Nations said last week, adding that the majority of the displaced are from Mosul district, and most of them, almost 98 percent of the displaced, are currently residing within the Ninewa governorate.

On Oct. 17, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, who is also the commander-in-chief of the Iraqi forces, announced the start of a major offensive to retake Mosul, the country's second largest city, in a bid to liberate the northern Iraqi city, the last major ISIS stronghold in Iraq.

Mosul, some 400 km north of the Iraqi capital of Baghdad, has been under IS control since June 2014, when Iraqi government forces abandoned their weapons and fled, enabling IS militants to take control of parts of Iraq's northern and western regions.

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