A man holds a white flag in front of Iraqi soldiers in Mosul, Iraq November 9, 2016. REUTERS/Goran Tomasevic
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The five bodies were put on display at a road junction, a clear message to the city's remaining 1.5 million residents that the Islamists are still in charge, despite losing territory to the east of the city.Thousands of Daesh fighters have run Mosul, the largest city under their control in Iraq and neighboring Syria, since they conquered large parts of northern Iraq in 2014 .They are now battling a 100,000-strong coalition including Iraqi troops, security forces, Kurdish peshmerga and mainly Shiite paramilitary groups, which has almost surrounded the city and has broken into eastern neighborhoods.Mosul is divided into two halves by the Tigris River running through its center. The eastern half, where elite Iraqi troops have broken through Daesh defenses, has a more mixed population than the western, overwhelmingly Sunni Arab side, where Daesh fighters are believed to be strongest.One witness said traffic had almost returned to normal in most parts of eastern Mosul and markets were operating, albeit not as busy as before the start of military operations.
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