In Iraq, thousands of civilians have surged out of Mosul during a lull in heavy fighting between government forces and Islamic State militants around the densely populated old City.

Government forces have cleared the east and half of western Mosul and are now focused on controlling the Old City.

According to reports, more residents are fleeing the liberated areas due to scarcity of food and water, fragile security and fear of being caught in cross shelling.

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