UNITED NATIONS: Nearly 21,000 people were currently  internally displaced due to military operations to retake the Iraqi city of Mosul, UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric has said.

Half of them have found shelter in camps and the other half in host
communities,” Dujarric said at the regular noon briefing, citing the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

“The UN and partners are working around the clock to provide effective
and immediate life-saving assistance and shelter within a maximum of 48 hours to people crossing the frontlines,” Dujarric said.

“We are also assisting host communities and vulnerable residents of
newly retaken villages,” he added.

Iraqi security forces recaptured more villages in mid-October from the
Islamic State (IS) militants, as part of a major offensive aimed at liberating Mosul, the last major IS stronghold in Iraq.

Mosul, some 400 km north of the Iraqi capital of Baghdad, has been under  IS control since June 2014, when Iraqi government forces abandoned their weapons and fled, enabling the militant group to take control of parts of Iraq’s northern and western regions.

by App