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Middle East

Video: Iraqi forces fear IS fighters are hiding among Mosul refugees

© FRANCE 24 screengrab

Video by Gallagher FENWICK

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2017-03-06

Iraqi forces fighting the Islamic State (IS) group for Mosul fear jihadists are hiding among the thousands of traumatised civilians fleeing the city. FRANCE 24’s Gallagher Fenwick reports on the chaotic vetting process from the frontline.

More than 31,000 civilians have so far been forced to abandon their homes in western Mosul in the latest phase of the fierce battle that began last month, according to the United Nations.

Iraqi forces are now escorting shocked and injured civilians to safety.

However, amid the exodus from Iraq’s second city, Mosul, local soldiers appear to be ill-prepared to identify IS militants who may be trying to escape before the last stand for the city.

FRANCE 24’s Fenwick saw young men being grouped together, while women and children were held separately for processing. But Iraqi forces have little reliable intelligence to identify the genuine refugees from the jihadists in disguise.

Iraqi forces, backed by a US-led coalition, launched a major operation to retake Mosul on October 17. The allies have managed to recapture the city's east and are now caught up in street-to-street fighting in the narrow streets of the more densely populated west.

Click on the player above to see FRANCE 24’s full video report from Mosul

 

Date created : 2017-03-03

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