Iraqi men cover their noses as they check a site in the city of Mosul where bodies of alleged Islamic State group jihadists remain on January 11, 2018. AFP / Ahmad MUWAFAQ
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For three years, extremists made life in Iraq's Mosul impossible.Iraqi forces declared victory against Daesh in the city in July 2017, after months of fighting that killed hundreds of civilians and caused tens of thousands to flee.But six months on, the putrefying bodies of militants killed in the battle are preventing some residents from returning home.Whenever they were alerted, his colleagues said, Civil Defense members dashed out to search the ruins, tackling the mounds of broken concrete that now cover the Old City.To avoid having to bury unidentified bodies, they only searched in the company of relatives able to identify those they had lost.As for the bodies of Iraqi and foreign militants – that is the city council's responsibility.Those bodies have been thrown into mass graves, without any rites.If the river became contaminated, it would be impossible to treat its water as filtering and purifying stations around the city have been destroyed, either by the militants or in the battle to retake the city.
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