Tuesday, 26 September, 2017

Indians taken hostages by ISS in Iraq's Mosul alive: MEA

Iraq Repels ISIS Counter-Attack in Western Mosul Police killed during Mosul attack by Islamic State
Andrew Cummings | 18 June, 2017, 02:16

The UN said today that Islamic State group jihadists may be holding more than 100,000 Iraqi civilians as human shields in the Old City of Mosul.

Iraqi forces said they were about to complete the encirclement of Islamic State's stronghold in the Old City of Mosul, after taking control of a neighboring district on Thursday.

Residents attempting to flee IS positions have been gunned down by snipers, while in some cases civilian homes have been welded shut and booby-trapped to prevent them from fleeing.

"There is hardly any food, water, electricity, fuel".

Lise Grande, Humanitarian Coordinator for UN's mission in Iraq said that they are expecting the fight for Old Mosul to begin "within days".

"ISIS (Islamic State) snipers continue to aim at people trying to flee because there is this long-standing policy of executing people trying to flee the territory of the caliphate", he said. Fighting is being conducted on foot and by going house to house.

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Geddo said the United Nations agency so far had provided assistance to more than 500,000 of the displaced people, and was also attempting to help those returning to Mosul, often to live in bombed-out buildings.

Of these, 371,000 are being aided in camps, where they receive tents, mattresses, blankets, buckets and kitchen utensils.

The UN and Iraqi authorities have coordinated to build new camps and find spaces in existing camps for families returning to already recaptured eastern Mosul. Many are living in precarious conditions, particularly those in unfinished or abandoned buildings, Geddo said. UNHCR has provided many with shelter, food and other necessities.

Amira Abd El Khalek, public information officer with the UN's refugee agency, told Al Jazeera that the UN's was "extremely concerned" about the remaining civilians in Mosul and that their top priority is to get them out safely as soon as possible. A mobile unit working with Iraqi authorities has so far replaced 2,000 missing documents. "People coming out of west Mosul are deeply traumatized", Geddo said.

UNHCR is providing psychological support to help the displaced civilians.

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