UN: 870,000 displaced people returned to Mosul so far

An Iraqi family passes through a residential area devastated by the anti-Islamic State war.File photo

Baghdad ( – About 870,000 displaced people have so far returned to Mosul one year after the liberation of the city from Islamic State militants, a high-profile UN official has said.

“Almost 870,000 people have now returned to Mosul,” UN Humanitarian Coordinator for Iraq Marta Ruedas said as the Iraqi people now celebrate the first anniversary of the liberation of Iraq’s second largest city from terrorism.

“The UN Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) has rehabilitated 257 conflict-damaged houses in West Mosul, allowing almost 3,000 people to return home,” Ruedas said.

Speaking about medical achievements in the city, Ruedas said that the World Health Organization (WHO) placed 53 ambulances in Nineveh governorate, and relocated two field hospitals to deliver emergency healthcare services to returnees in West Mosul.

“The UN Mine Action Service (UNMAS) has removed more than 43,700 explosive hazards, including 1,000 improvised explosive devices from roads, bridges, schools, universities, hospitals, clinics, water treatment plants and municipal buildings,” Ruedas added.

The UN coordinator, however, expressed sorrow that despite these achievements, there are “close to 2 million people in Iraq remain displaced and those who have chosen to return to the city and other liberated areas face a multitude of challenges.”

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi announced last July the liberation of the second largest Iraqi city of Mosul from IS militants, who had captured it in 2014. More than 25,000 militants were killed throughout the campaign, which started in October 2016.

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