Displaced Iraqis, who fled the violence around the northern Iraqi city of Mosul, wait to receive food aid at the al-Khazer refugee camp some 40 kilometers east of Irbil, on January 31, 2017. / AFP / Mahmud SALEH
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A renewed assault on ISIS fighters in the Iraqi city of Mosul could force 250,000 civilians to flee, if they can find a way out, the U.N. refugee agency UNHCR said Friday.Such numbers, although high, remain well below UNHCR's initial contingency plans, which anticipated a million people or more fleeing from the city.U.N. Special Representative for Iraq Jan Kubis told the U.N. Security Council Thursday that retaking western Mosul would be a massive challenge, with complex urban operations.Hundreds of civilians allegedly disappeared in a previous battle, for the city of Fallujah, and the Iraqi authorities have still not published heir findings into what happened there, he said.
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