Baghdad (IraqiNews.com) Battles between Iraqi forces and Islamic State militants in Mosul have displaced 430.000 people since they broke out in October, the Iraqi government said on Wednesday.
Migration and Displacement Minister, Jassem al-Jaff, said in a press conference, that 235.000 people fled western Mosul alone since operations launched in February to retake that part of Iraq’s second largest city. He said that the declared total represents the highest migration rate since operations launched.
The minister added that 70 billion Iraqi dinars had been allocated for authorities in charge of the repatriation of refugees at recaptured areas.
Iraqi government forces recaptured eastern Mosul in January and are struggling to retake the west.
IS’s reign over Mosul has forced hundreds of thousands to flee to refugee camps and to neighboring countries, but the extremist group has intentionally targeted civilians upon attempting to leave. Many have also been quoted complaining of food and medicine shortages at refugee camps.
The Iraqi government estimates the number of people displaced inside the country since the emergence of IS in 2014 by more than four million.
The United Nations said Tuesday the total of civilians displaced since October stood at more than 300.000. It had predicted a total of 1.5 million people to be displaced upon the launch of the operations.