30,000 displaced from Fallujah

Baghdad—Fighting in the Iraqi city of Fallujah has displaced at least 30,000 people in three days, the Norwegian Refugee Council said Sunday, warning that a humanitarian disaster was unfolding.
Iraqi forces achieved a breakthrough on Thursday, taking over the center of Fallujah while the ISIS group retreated to areas in the north of the city. That allowed thousands of civilians who had been used as human shields to flee the city, a key militants stronghold west of Baghdad that had been besieged for months.
“The estimated total number of displaced from Fallujah in just the last three days is now at a staggering 30,000 people,” the NRC said in a statement. The aid group, which runs displacement camps around Fallujah, said another 32,000 people had already been displaced since the start of the government offensive against the ISIS bastion nearly a month ago.
It said it believed dozens of families were still inside Fallujah, including the most vulnerable civilians such as pregnant women, the sick and the elderly. The aid community has been overwhelmed by the influx of people and many were sleeping in the open, in the scorching summer sun and waiting for a tent at one of the displacement camps.
“We implore the Iraqi government to take charge of this humanitarian disaster unfolding on our watch,” NRC’s Iraq director Nasr Muflahi said in the statement.—Agencies

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