Militant seizure of Mosul forces 500,000 Iraqis from their homes

500,000 residents of Mosul, Iraq's second largest city, have fled their homes after the city was violently seized by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.
By JC Finley  |  June 11, 2014 at 2:11 PM
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BAGHDAD, June 11 (UPI) -- According to the International Organization for Migration, 500,000 Iraqis have fled their homes after the violent take over of Mosul, Iraq's second largest city.

The internally displaced persons who fled Mosul, IOM reported, have either moved from the west bank to the east bank of the city, fled to other parts of Ninewa governorate, or moved into the neighboring Iraqi Kurdish region.

Inside Mosul, residents are under curfew and prohibited from using their vehicles. IOM Iraq reported water scarcity in the western Mosul neighborhoods after the main water station was destroyed by a bomb. Families are low on food, especially those now hosting IDPs in their homes. Electricity is also sporadic and generators off-line because there is no fuel.

The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) seized control of Mosul on Tuesday, commandeering the city's military bases, police stations and government headquarters. The takeover of Mosul concluded a six-day battle across central and western Iraq between the well-organized militants and an army more concentrated on attempting to capture the western cities of Ramadi and Falluja.

The assault on Mosul, IOM noted, "has resulted in a high number of casualties among civilians" and medical care is mostly inaccessible because the city's "main health campus ... is in the middle of an area in which there is fighting." In order to respond to medical needs, "Some mosques have been converted to clinics to treat casualties."

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