First Friday prayers performed in liberated Fallujah

First Friday prayers performed in liberated Fallujah

On last Friday of Ramadan, worshippers gather in the western Iraqi city following its retaking from Daesh

By Sulaiman al-Qubaisi

ANBAR, Iraq (AA) - Worshippers in Iraq's Fallujah performed the Friday prayers for the first time since the city was liberated from Daesh on Friday.

Military leaders, tribal sheikhs, religious scholars and government officials attended prayers at a prominent mosque in the Iraqi city, some 69 kilometers (43 miles) west of Baghdad.

The prayers also coincided with the day marking the revelation of the Quran to the Prophet Muhammad.

Abdul Latif Al-Hamim, head of the Iraqi Sunni Endowment, led the prayers. “Fallujah is greater than a small street,” he told Anadolu Agency. “Fallujah is more precious than a city on the map.

“The terrorist group Daesh has left our cities smashed [but] even if they cut up the trees in the city, Fallujah is a great city and great cities cannot be made extinct.”

Al-Hamim thanked the troops who participated in the battle to liberate Fallujah and praised them for “exploding the myth of Daesh’s invincibility.”

The complete liberation of the city in western Anbar province was announced following a campaign launched in April to retake it from Daesh, who captured the area in early 2014 before overrunning large swathes of territory in the north and west, including Mosul, which they still hold.

According to the UN, more than 3.4 million people are now displaced in Iraq -- more than half of them children -- while more than 10 million are in desperate need of humanitarian assistance.

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