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Humanitarian Disaster strikes Fallujah: About 60,000 people flee to escape IS-held city in Iraq

Iraqi fighters face snipers and bombs as they fight to eliminate IS militants from the city they have held for more than two years

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Iraqi soldiers help civilians, who fled from Falluja because of Islamic State violence, during a dust storm on the outskirts of Fallujah, Iraq, June 18, 2016. Image source: Reuters
  • The number of people who have managed to leave the city has topped 60,000
  • People from Fallujah have managed to find refuge in warehouses or mosques as refugee camps become full
  • PM Haider al Abadi declared the Iraqi forces had been victorious in their fight to take control of the city

Exhausted, hungry and desperate, 30,000 people have poured out of Fallujah in the past three days as Iraqi forces stormed into the center of the city, pushing Islamic State fighters into the northwest of the city.

Despite the searing Iraqi summer heat, many of those who have escaped are sleeping out in the open as refugee camps are now full. Others have managed to find refuge in warehouses or mosques.

Norwegian Refugee Council staff provide drinking water for Iraqis from Fallujah at Amariyat al-Fallujah displacement camp. Photo: Karl Schembri/NRC. Image source: Reuters
Norwegian Refugee Council staff provide drinking water for Iraqis from Fallujah at Amariyat al-Fallujah displacement camp. Photo: Karl Schembri/NRC. Image source: Reuters

The number of people who have managed to leave the city has topped 60,000.

Appeal to government

The Norwegian Refugee Council, which is providing emergency food rations and bottled water to thousands of people, said the sheer numbers and a lack of camp coordination has made it difficult to reach all the newly arrived families.

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“We implore the Iraqi government to take charge of this humanitarian disaster unfolding on our watch,” said NRC Country Director Nasr Muflahi in a statement.

Iraqi army soldiers hold Iraqi flag on a top of a military vehicle in the centre of Fallujah, Iraq, June 18, 2016. Image source: Reuters
Iraqi army soldiers hold Iraqi flag on a top of a military vehicle in the centre of Fallujah, Iraq, June 18, 2016. Image source: Reuters

“We cannot continue to provide aid when we do not even know who is where and what they need,” Muflahi said.

Prime Minister Haider al Abadi declared the Iraqi forces had been victorious in their fight to take control of the city.

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But in Fallujah, Iraqi fighters face snipers and bombs as they fight to eliminate IS militants from the city they have held for more than two years.

Some militants reportedly have sent their wives and children out of the city with the refugees. (VOA)

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  • Vrushali Mahajan

    If the UN cannot do anything about this, there should be people from other countries who should take this initiative and ask their governments to help our fellow Syrian brothers and sisters.

Next Story

Google Photos Now Lets Users Manually Tag People in Photos

The says it doesn't share this information between accounts, according to The Verge

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Google, smart compose
The Google name is displayed outside the company's office in London, Britain. VOA

Several months after confirming that manually tagging people on Google Photos will become a reality, the company has finally rolled out the feature in which users will be able to manually add in many of the faces that its algorithm misses out on.

Those hoping that the feature would allow you to point at any area in an image and add a tag to it, will be disappointed.

Face tagging feature still relies on the tech giant’s algorithm and its ability to detect a person or pet’s face to begin with, Android Police reported on Wednesday.

google, online tracking
A man walks past a Google sign outside with a span of the Bay Bridge at rear in San Francisco, May 1, 2019. VOA

To manually tag people, open Google Photos, look for any picture with people or pets in it, and swipe up or tap the overflow key on the top right. This brings up the updated EXIF panel with the People section, recognised persons’ avatars, and an edit icon or pen on the right.

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As far as privacy is concerned, Google will automatically scan users’ photos for faces if they have the “face grouping” feature turned on.

The says it doesn’t share this information between accounts, according to The Verge. (IANS)