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UN: No Large Displacement of Mosul Residents Yet

  • Margaret Besheer

A U.S. Army soldier stands with his weapon at a military base in the Makhmour area near Mosul during an operation to attack Islamic State militants in Mosul, Iraq, Oct. 18, 2016.

A U.S. Army soldier stands with his weapon at a military base in the Makhmour area near Mosul during an operation to attack Islamic State militants in Mosul, Iraq, Oct. 18, 2016.

The United Nations said Tuesday that 36 hours into the Iraqi and Kurdish military offensive to liberate Mosul from the Islamic State group, it had not seen any immediate large outflows of residents from the city.

The U.N. has expressed continued concern for civilians in the northern city and fear that as many as 1 million of them could become displaced during the battle. If that happens, it could test the international humanitarian system to the breaking point.

Updating reporters Tuesday, U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric said so far there had not been any significant displacement.

"Movements out of the city have been limited, and displacement is anticipated to become more significant in the coming weeks," he said. "An estimated 200,000 people are anticipated to be displaced in the first weeks of the offensive. In a worst-case scenario, 1 million people could be displaced."

The U.N. has six emergency centers running near Mosul that can receive up to 60,000 people. They expect to have 22 centers operating within the next few weeks that could accommodate more than 400,000 people.

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