UN says 200,000 more expected to flee Mosul

BAGHDAD (AP) – Another 200,000 people may flee their homes as the fighting in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul intensifies, the United Nations said yesterday.

UN humanitarian coordinator Lise Grande said nearly 700,000 people have already been displaced from Mosul since US-backed Iraqi forces launched a major operation in October to retake the city from the Islamic State (IS) group.

Iraqi forces have driven the militants from most of Mosul, but are still battling them in densely populated western districts.

“The numbers of people fleeing their homes in western Mosul are overwhelming,” Grande said in a statement. “They are fleeing under very difficult circumstances. Many are food insecure and haven’t had access to safe drinking water and medicines for weeks or months.”

In this file photo, displaced Iraqis, fleeing fighting between security forces and IS militants, wait for a security check before being transferred to a camp on the western side of Mosul. - AP
In this file photo, displaced Iraqis, fleeing fighting between security forces and IS militants, wait for a security check before being transferred to a camp on the western side of Mosul. – AP