10,000 civilians displaced from Tal Afar in two weeks: Ministry

Displaced Iraqi people from different areas in Mosul flee their homes after clashes to reach safe areas, as Iraqi forces battle with Islamic State militants in the city of Mosul, Iraq March 18, 2017. REUTERS/Youssef Boudlal

Baghdad ( Around 10,000 civilians were displaced from Tal Afar town over the past two weeks, the Iraqi Ministry of Migration and Displacement has announced.

In press remarks on Sunday, Minister Jassem al-Jaff said arrangements were concluded to receive the displaced people in light of offensives which started earlier on Sunday to liberate the town.

Most of the residents were sheltered at the camps in south of Mosul including Jadaa, Haj Ali and Hammam al-Alil, while others took refuge at western Mosul.

Earlier on Sunday, security troops evacuated 300 civilians hours after the launch of offensives.

Speaking to Anadolu Agency, Cap. Jabbar Hassan said “the ninth armored division, Federal Police and al-Hashd al-Shaabi [Popular Mobilization Units] evacuated 290 civilians over the past few hours from southwest of Tal Afar town.”

“Troops transferred the displaced people to safe places and offered them food commodities,” he added.

According to estimates by the United Nations International Organization for Migration (IOM), between 10,000 to 40,000 people are left in Tal Afar and surrounding villages.

Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi announced in a televised speech on Sunday the beginning of offensive to recapture the town, which has been held by the militants since 2014, when the extremist group first emerged to proclaim its self-styled ‘caliphate’.

Tal Afar is one of the important strongholds still held by IS in Nineveh since August 2014, when the militants occupied a third of Iraq to proclaim its self-styled “caliphate”.

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