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Half a million civilians flee Mosul after bid to retake Iraqi city from IS

Almost half a million civilians have fled Mosul since the start of a massive operation by US-backed Iraqi forces to retake the city from Islamic State militants.

The United Nations reported that 493,000 people were displaced from the city in northern Iraq , and up to 500,000 others remain in IS-controlled parts of western Mosul where fighting is ongoing.

Food, water and medicine are running low in western Mosul where fighting is much heavier than in the eastern part of the city which was declared "fully liberated" by the Iraqi government in January.

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