Diyala (IraqiNews.com) Two thousand refugees have returned to their homes northeast of Diyala, a security member was quoted saying on Monday as authorities plan to return all displaced civilians before 2018.
Cap. Habib al-Shamri, from the Iraqi army, told Turkish Anadolu Agency that more than 450 families, making nearly 2000 people, returned to their home regions in Maqdadia as part of a local plan to repatriate all refugees before the end of this year.
He added that more than 20.000 registered refugees have yet to return to their home areas at the same region.
Iraq’s war against the Islamic State militants since 2014 has displaced more than four million people, according to Iraqi government and United Nations figures.
Civilians have been massacred, tortured and held as human shields by Islamic State militants, according to local and international human rights agencies. They had also suffered from medicine and food shortages at refugee camps, with some occasional deaths reported.
Diyala has seen occasional attacks by Islamic State militants against security forces and civilians over the past months, coinciding with offensives to retake the group’s largest stronghold in Iraq: Mosul. The Iraqi government plans to launch further offensives to retake all remaining IS havens, including in Diyala, in the near future.