5200 Iraqis return to liberated areas of eastern Mosul

BAGHDAD, Jan. 28 (MNA) – More than 5,000 people who fled the eastern half of Mosul due to recent fighting have returned to their homes in the last two days, an Iraqi relief worker said Friday.

"Some 5,200 people have departed the Al-Khazir and Hassan Sham camps [east of Mosul] and returned to the city’s liberated eastern neighborhoods," Iraqi Red Crescent (IRC) official Iyad Rafid told Anadolu Agency.

The return of internally displaced people to eastern Mosul, he said, comes in advance of a fresh round of army operations aimed at wresting western Mosul from the ISIL terrorist group.

Relief workers, meanwhile, have stepped up humanitarian efforts inside liberated eastern Mosul.

"IRC teams have distributed more than 800 food packages among residents of Mosul’s eastern Al-Mithaq district," Zaki Yakoub, director of the IRC’s branch in Nineveh province (of which Mosul is the regional capital), told Anadolu Agency.

According to Jassim al-Jaff, Iraq’s minister of displacement and migration, between 200,000 and 250,000 people are expected to flee western Mosul as fighting heats up there between the army and ISIL.

ANADOLU/MNA

News Code 123066

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