- Title: More people flee eastern district in Mosul as clashes intensify
- Date: 22nd November 2016
- Summary: VARIOUS OF WOUNDED MAN LYING ON STRETCHER
- Embargoed: 7th December 2016 17:31
- Keywords: Iraq Mosul Kokjali displaced
- Location: KOKJALI, EASTERN OUTSKIRTS OF MOSUL, IRAQ
- City: KOKJALI, EASTERN OUTSKIRTS OF MOSUL, IRAQ
- Country: Iraq
- Topics: Conflicts/War/Peace,Military Conflicts
- Reuters ID: LVA00259J2ONB
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Iraq's Counter-Terrorism Service (CTS) forces escorted groups of civilians out of the Kokjali district, on the eastern outskirts of Mosul, on Tuesday (November 22) as fighting with Islamic State militants continued.
Children, young men and women still shrouded in black robes imposed by Islamic State were helped onto military truck as they streamed out of the area carrying their belongings.
Abu al-Abed fled on foot from Aden, another neighbourhood in eastern Mosul, before army trucks carried him to Kokjali.
"The situation is good. Clashes are still going on, but the army will prevail, God willing," said Abed.
Militants have been steadily retreating from areas around Mosul into the city since the battle started on October 17, with air and ground support from a U.S.-led coalition.
Militants are dug in among the civilians as a defence tactic to hamper air strikes, moving around the city through tunnels, driving suicide car bombs into advancing troops and hitting them with sniper and mortar fire.
Mosul still has a population of 1.5 million people, much more than any of the other cities captured by Islamic State in Iraq and neighbouring Syria.
Thousands of civilians have streamed into areas held by government forces, although the number of people displaced by the fighting has slightly decreased, an indication that some people have begun returning home in places retaken by government forces, according to the International Organization for Migration (IOM).
The number of registered displaced people was over 68,500 on Monday.
The offensive to take Mosul, the largest city under Islamic State control in either Iraq or Syria, is turning into the biggest battle in Iraq's turbulent history since the U.S.-led invasion that toppled Saddam Hussein in 2003.
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