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Around 600,000 children Trapped inside Mosul where they are being maimed in Fighting and used as Human Shields, says NGO Save The Children

Up to 500,000 people could flee Mosul, Iraq's second largest city, as the liberation battle continues, according to the Iraqi government

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Mosul (Iraq), Nov 17, 2016: Around 600,000 children are trapped inside the beleaguered Iraqi city of Mosul where they are being maimed in the fighting and used as human shields, Save the Children said on Thursday.

“It’s horrific that the only option these families and children have right now is to wave a white rag and pray they won’t get caught in the crossfire,” said Save the Children in Iraq’s deputy director Aram Shakaram.

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Children are paying a heavy price one month into the offensive launched by Iraqi and Kurdish forces to dislodge the Islamic State from its stronghold in Iraq, the charity said.

Up to a dozen children a day are being maimed as the offensive pushes further into the city, front-line medics and hospital doctors have told the charity. They are also being used as human shields, families have said.

More must be done to ensure the safety of civilians, Shakaram said.

“As this conflict pushes deeper into the city and becomes increasingly brutal, all parties must ensure civilians can flee safely and access humanitarian aid,” he said.

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“Safe escape routes must be the priority, not an afterthought.”

One family in an area of Mosul still under IS control told Save the Children it had recently been forced into a local school with 600 other people to be used as human shields, the charity said.

The family was released after six hours when IS fighters decided to use relatives of police officers and Iraqi army soldiers instead, they said.

Even if they make it to safety, many children have been seriously injured in the fighting or are showing signs of intense psychological distress, Save the Children warned.

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So far nearly 60,000 people have fled Mosul and its surrounds, including tens of thousands of children. Many more families are expected to try to escape and make their way to refugee camps as the offensive continues, the charity warned.

Up to 500,000 people could flee Mosul, Iraq’s second largest city, as the liberation battle continues, according to the Iraqi government.

Save the Children has deployed a child protection team to provide emergency psychological first aid to children escaping the violence, and has set up safe spaces for children to learn and play, as well as literacy and numeracy classes.

“Many children have been through two years of IS and were then forced to flee through a war zone, and some told us they have seen people shot and hanged. Imagine what effect that would have on a child,” said Shakaram.

IS overran Mosul in June 2014 and declared it the capital of its Islamic ‘caliphate’ stretching across swathes of territory it seized in Iraq and Syria during a lightening offensive. (IANS)

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FIFA World Cup 2018: Indian Cuisine becomes the most sought after in Moscow

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Indian cuisine in FIFA World cup
Indian dishes available in Moscow during FIFA World Cup 2018, representational image, wikimedia commons

June 17, 2018:

Restaurateurs Prodyut and Sumana Mukherjee have not only brought Indian cuisine to the ongoing FIFA World Cup 2018 here but also plan to dish out free dinner to countrymen if Argentina wins the trophy on July 15.

Based in Moscow for the last 27 years, Prodyut and Sumana run two Indian eateries, “Talk Of The Town” and “Fusion Plaza”.

You may like to read more on Indian cuisine: Indian ‘masala’, among other condiments spicing up global food palate.

Both restaurants serve popular Indian dishes like butter chicken, kebabs and a varied vegetarian spread.

During the ongoing FIFA World Cup 2018, there will be 25 per cent discount for those who will possess a Fan ID (required to watch World Cup games).

There will also be gifts and contests on offers during matches in both the restaurants to celebrate the event.

The Mukherjees, hailing from Kolkata, are die-hard fans of Argentina. Despite Albiceleste drawing 1-1 with Iceland in their group opener with Lionel Messi failing to sparkle, they believe Jorge Sampaoli’s team can go the distance.

“I am an Argentina fan. I have booked tickets for a quarterfinal match, a semifinal and of course the final. If Argentina goes on to lift

During the World Cup, there will be 25 per cent discount for those who will possess a Fan ID (required to watch World Cup games).

There will also be gifts and contests on offers during matches in both the restaurants to celebrate the event.

FIFA World Cup 2018 Russia
FIFA World Cup 2018, Wikimedia Commons.

“We have been waiting for this World Cup. Indians come in large numbers during the World Cup and we wanted these eateries to be a melting point,” he added.

According to Cutting Edge Events, FIFA’s official sales agency in India for the 2018 World Cup, India is amongst the top 10 countries in terms of number of match tickets bought.

Read more about Indian cuisine abroad: Hindoostane Coffee House: London’s First Indian Restaurant.

Prodyut came to Moscow to study engineering and later started working for a pharmaceutical company here before trying his hand in business. Besides running the two restaurants with the help of his wife, he was into the distribution of pharmaceutical products.

“After Russia won the first match of the World Cup, the footfall has gone up considerably. The Indians are also flooding in after the 6-9 p.m. game. That is the time both my restaurants remain full,” Prodyut said.

There are also plans to rope in registered fan clubs of Latin American countries, who will throng the restaurants during matches and then follow it up with after-game parties till the wee hours.

“I did get in touch with some of the fan clubs I had prior idea about. They agreed to come over and celebrate the games at our joints. Those will be gala nights when both eateries will remain open all night for them to enjoy,” Prodyut said.

Watching the World Cup is a dream come true for the couple, Sumana said.

“We want to make the Indians who have come here to witness the spectacle and feel at home too. We always extend a helping hand and since we are from West Bengal, we make special dishes for those who come from Bengal,” she added. (IANS)