Displaced people from Mosul and outskirts arrive in the town of Bashiqa, after it was recaptured from the Islamic State, east of Mosul, Iraq, November 17, 2016. REUTERS/Azad Lashkari
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BASHIQA, Iraq: For the first time since Daesh (ISIS) militants swept into Bashiqa two years ago forcing him to flee, 61-year-old Barakat has finally found work: Sunday he will be coming back to help clear debris from the destruction wrought upon his home town. He and others who have been living in exile gathered in the town Wednesday, just over a week after Kurdish peshmerga forces drove the extremists out.Those who were better off rented homes in other towns, and those without the means went to camps.Raghid Rashid, a local Yazidi policeman, returned this month and fought alongside the peshmerga to recapture the town, 11 kilometers northeast of Mosul.Speaking from a podium and flanked by Kurdish flags and banners proclaiming religious and ethnic coexistence, he said the peshmerga, the KRG's armed forces, would not withdraw from areas they had seized from Daesh, and vowed to protect minorities living in areas under Kurdish control.Kurdish fighters were recently accused by a human rights group of unlawfully destroying Arab homes in areas they captured from Daesh between 2014 and May 2016, a charge the KRG denies.
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