90 percent of displaced residents return back to eastern Mosul: Official

Displaced Iraqis flee their homes as Iraqi forces battle with Islamic State militants, in western Mosul, Iraq March 18, 2017. REUTERS/Suhaib Salem


Mosul (IraqiNews.com) Ninety percent of displaced residents have returned back to the eastern side of Mosul after return of the main services back to the city, Nineveh province declared on Tuesday.

According to Abdel Sattar Habbou, the governor’s technical adviser, “90 percent of the displaced civilians returned back to western Mosul. Social and security stability is obvious there.”

“Basic services like electricity, drinking water and schools returned back to normal in the city. Other services will be provided when funds are available for reconstruction of freed regions,” he added

“Liberated buildings in west of Mosul will come into service, in case funds are allocated by the federal government and international donors,” Habbou said.

More than 400,000 refugees were displaced by battles between Iraqi security forces and Islamic State militants in Mosul since security operations launched in October, according to Iraqi government and aid bodies. More than 200.000 were displaced from the west since offensives launched in February to retake that area.

IS fighters have both shot at and executed civilians attempting to flee areas under their control, according to aid groups and security officials who also said that civilians are being used as human shields. The existence of civilians at battlefields has been one reason behind the slowdown of operations at some stages.

Mosul, Islamic State’s strongest stronghold in Iraq, fell to IS militants in 2014. Iraqi troops took over eastern Mosul in January and launched a new offensive to take the western region in February.


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