Love is back in the air in Mosul

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By Chris Harris
Love is back in the air in Mosul

Roses, cuddly toys and heart shaped balloons make for a very different street scene in northern Iraq's Mosul. This year is the first time its residents are celebrating Valentine's Day since Iraqi forces drove the so-called Islamic State out of the city.

The extremists, who captured Mosul in 2014, banned residents from celebrating the day for the last three years. But now love is back in the air.

Many shops are selling Valentine's Day gifts again and residents are keenly splurging on their loved ones.

Omar Jamal, the owner of a gift shop in Mosul, told Associated Press: "Thank God, this year is very good. Interest from the customers is huge.

“We are selling all the items, gifts, teddy bears, flowers, everything related to Valentine's goes very fast.

“Especially the young people, they buy a lot and the business is very good."