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Over 68,000 displaced from Mosul and surroundings, UN warns


Iraq

Over 68,000 displaced from Mosul and surroundings, UN warns

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In the six weeks since Iraqi forces began their campaign to retake Mosul, more than 68,000 people have been displaced from the city and its surroundings, the United Nations says.

Roughly half are children, according to the agency.

There are fears the exodus is only just beginning. Aid organisations estimate at least a million people remain in the ISIL-held city, most thought to be gathered west of the Tigris River, where government forces have not yet reached.

The UN is expanding some of its camps around Mosul, amid concerns hundreds of thousands more displaced civilians could need accommodation in the coming months.

But not everyone is fleeing.

Iraqi Christians in the largely Assyrian city of Qaraqosh are now able to return home, south west of Mosul. Some have fled ISIL’s Sunni Muslim militants two and a half years ago.

Their church destroyed, boys can be seen ringing the bell on the ground, as their families take stock of what’s left of their home town.

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