800 people fled, 50,000 others trapped inside Falluja — UN

Iraqi Federal police evacuates civilians from Falluja
Iraqi Federal police evacuates civilians from Falluja

GENEVA, May 27 (KUNA) — The UN high commission for refugees (UNHCR) announced on Friday that more than 800 people have fled Falluja, mostly from outlying areas, as the government continues its military offensive to re-take control of the city.
Falluja was the first city to be taken by extremist groups in January 2014, since then, more than 3.2 million people have been displaced across Iraq, Melissa Fleming, UNHCR spokesperson, told a news conference.
Some 50,000 civilians still remain trapped inside Falluja, prevented from escaping by extremist forces as the city continues to come under heavy bombardment by Iraqi forces, Fleming said.
Inside Falluja, there have been reports of a dramatic increase in the number of executions of men and older boys in Falluja refusing to fight on behalf of extremist forces, she added.
Other reports say a number of people attempting to depart have been executed or whipped; and one man s leg was reportedly amputated, she noted.
It is vital that safe routes are opened, allowing civilians access to safety and live-saving assistance, she confirmed.
Health facilities and medications are not available in the area, leading some families to reportedly use herbal medicine for the purpose of treatment, she told reporters.
In December, supply routes to Falluja were cut off by the Iraqi forces and armed groups, preventing civilians from leaving and aid getting in, she pointed out.
Residents have faced acute shortages of food and medicine, access to drinkable water and other essential items and prices have dramatically escalated, she said. (end) ta.hm

Iraqi Federal police evacuates civilians from Falluja
Iraqi Federal police evacuates civilians from Falluja
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