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More than 600,000 people forced to flee W. Mosul - OCHA

GENEVA, May 30 (KUNA) -- More than 600,000 people have escaped from western Mosul since February 19th, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) announced on Tuesday.
Speaking to the press at OCHA headquarters in Geneva, OCHA spokesperson Jens Laerke said that civilians continue to flee the war-torn Iraqi city, braving perilous conditions.
Moreover, he spoke of a mounting humanitarian catastrophe, where 180,000 people remain trapped in areas under the control of the so-called Islamic State (IS).
Laerke pointed out that the Iraqi government has called on civilians to leave the city through escape routes, after Iraqi forces launched an operation to seize the last remaining IS enclaves in Mosul's old city on May 26-27.
The OCHA spokesperson noted that many Iraqis, including displaced people and those exposed to danger, are still in dire need of humanitarian aid. (end) ta.nam