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July 15, 2017

Mosul’s residents tell of hopes and fears after Isis flees Iraqi city

Shias’ victorious taunts, vast battle damage and a lack of cash for rebuilding are critical problems in the former Isis stronghold

The body of a long-haired Islamic State militant lies rotting in the scorching heat. Blast-strewn cars and bullet holes in walls bear witness to a fierce firefight that took place in the Zanjili neighbourhood of west Mosul.

Once a stronghold of Isis, Zanjili is now a ghost town. Life has stopped and nothing moves; even the stray cats and dogs that roam other parts of the [...]

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July 9, 2017

Iraq announces ‘victory’ over Islamic State in Mosul

Prime minister Haider al-Abadi congratulates ‘heroic fighters and Iraqi people’ as forces drive last militants from northern city

Iraq’s prime minister, Haider al-Abadi, has declared victory over Islamic State forces in Mosul after nearly nine months of bitter fighting to displace the extremist group from the city where it proclaimed its “caliphate”.

Abadi, dressed in black military uniform, travelled to Mosul on Sunday to formally reclaim the devastated city, now a shadow of the thriving hub seized by extremists in 2014.

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June 29, 2017

Iraqi forces enter Mosul mosque where Isis declared caliphate

Iraqi forces close to seizing control of Great Mosque of al-Nuri, where Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi proclaimed himself Isis leader three years ago

Iraqi forces have entered the Great Mosque of al-Nuri in Mosul, from where Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi proclaimed himself leader of Islamic State three years ago. The full seizure of the compound, which Iraqi troops were moving through, now appears imminent and would mark a highly symbolic moment in the war against Isis.

The development means that government troops are now in the heart of the Old City – Isis’s last redoubt in Mosul – and probably within a fortnight of recapturing its entirety. The Iraqi prime [...]

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March 26, 2017

Shell-shocked Mosul survivors tell of intense airstrikes

Hundreds of people have fled west Mosul during a lull in fighting but many had to leave behind family members buried in the remains of their former homes

Covered in dust, their hands raw from digging, Ali Assad and his cousin made a desperate choice – to leave their family under the rubble of their west Mosul home and flee while they still could.

The two men were among hundreds to be evacuated on Sunday, during a lull in the fighting prompted by outrage over the high civilian toll caused by multiple airstrikes that have battered the city and its trapped population over the past eight days.

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