ANKARA (AA) - More than 830,000 people -- including nearly 140,00 families -- remain displaced after the battle to retake the northern Iraqi city of Mosul, once a bustling city of over 1.4 million, a UN agency said Friday.
“Since the beginning of the Mosul operations in October 2016, the number of internally displaced persons (IDPs) whose locations of displacement and/or return have been identified by the IOM Emergency Tracking for Mosul Operations (…) reached 178,952 families, corresponding to 1,073,712 individuals,” according to a new report by the International Organization for Migration (IOM).
The report said some 839,118 individuals (139,853 families) remain displaced in the aftermath of heavy fighting to retake Mosul.
“Some 234,594 IDPs (39,099 families) have now returned [to Mosul], with an estimated 80 per cent going back to their districts of origin in East Mosul,” the report added.
“I wish I had died with them,” Niqaa, a survivor from East Mosul, told IOM from a hospital bed.
“At first I could hear the voices of women shouting from under the rubble” of destroyed buildings, Sarah, another survivor, told IOM. “I could hear children crying.”
Iraqi forces, backed by a U.S.-led coalition, fought to dislodge the Daesh terrorist organization from Mosul starting last fall.
In 2014, the city was captured by Daesh along with vast swathes of territory in northern and western Iraq.
Earlier this month, Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi formally declared victory against Daesh in Mosul.