Almost 84,000 displaced as fighting rages in Iraq’s Mosul — report

GENEVA — A total of 83,998 civilians have fled the Iraqi city of Mosul since military operations to reclaim one of the Islamic State (IS)’s last strongholds began in October, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) said Wednesday.

Up from 76,464 a week ago, figures from the organisation showed that almost 14,000 families have been displaced as a result of ongoing fighting in the northern city.

According to statistics, 81 percent of those recently displaced by military operations are living in formal camps.

A further 13 percent have taken shelter in private settings, while four percent are in critical shelter arrangements and two percent are either passing through screening areas or in emergency sites.

Supported by Kurdish Peshmerga fighters, Iraqi troops began operations on Oct. 17 to take back 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 had warned before the military campaign kicked off that as many as 1.2 million civilians could be displaced by the fighting. PNA/