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UNHCR: Fallujah Residents Hesitating to Return

The United Nations refugee agency says many residents who fled the Iraqi city of Fallujah before a November U.S.-led offensive to crush insurgents, are waiting until after the January 30 elections to decide whether they will return.

About half of the city, which is home to more than a quarter-of-a-million people, has been re-opened for returning residents. But the U.N. agency estimates that fewer than 10,000 have returned to stay.

Through interviews conducted by its local partners, the refugee agency says many Fallujans are reluctant to return because of the tense security situation and the lack of services, including hospitals, water and electricity.

Many are waiting until after the parliamentary elections to see how the situation is affected. Others have bought land outside Fallujah, indicating they do not plan to return to the devastated city.

Some information for this report provided by AP and Reuters.