drown trying to flee Isis in Fallujah as Iraqi forces close in on
of families are going to desperate lengths to flee Isis
the Independent, 6 June, 2016 At
least four children have drowned trying to escape
the Isis-held city
of Fallujah as
the Iraqi army said it was poised to enter the centre of the
jihadist group's stronghold.
have secured a neighbourhood to the south of the city and are
preparing for an assault, a general in the Iraqi government forces
with up to 60,000 civilians trapped between the jihadists and the
elite special forces at the forefront of the Iraqi operation, those
still inside Fallujah are becoming increasingly desperate.
is difficult to verify the exact numbers of those drowned in their
attempts to escape across the Euphrates, which runs adjacent to the
west of the city, but the UNHCR has confirmed that several people
have died in their attempt to escape.
to safe haven during fighting between Iraqi security forces and
to 60,000 civilians were feared trapped in Fallujah at the start of
the Iraqi operation (AP)
sources said 18 bodies were recovered from the river over the
al Essawi, head of the local provincial council, said hundreds of
families were attempting the crossing and the bodies of two
children, a woman and an older man had been recovered from the
at the al-Amariya Hospital, west of Baghdad, toldThe New
death toll was as high as 18, including seven children and three
tried to escape from death but were swallowed up by the river,” Dr
Mohammad al-Isawi said.
pictures showed families, old and young, fleeing across the broad
river with whatever possessions they could carry.
“They are using empty refrigerators, wooden cupboards and kerosene
barrels as makeshift boats to cross the river.
totally unsafe and this is why innocent people are drowning.”
is two weeks after Iraq launched its operation to recapture Fallujah,
one of the last Isis strongholds in the country and second in size
only to Mosul.
General Abdel Wahab al-Saadi said on Sunday that his forces had
secured the largely agricultural southern neighbourhood of Naymiyah,
under cover of US-led coalition air strikes.
operation was announced in May, more than two years after Fallujah
fell to Isis in a crushing defeat for the government.
well-embedded in the city, Isis has built tunnels and laid
booby-traps and mines to make up for their disadvantage in terms of
militants have also told civilians they will be killed if they try to
flee or display white flags on their houses, as instructed by the