Thousands of Iraqis flee Fallujah as Army advances, opens escape corridor

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Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty

An estimated 4,000 more Iraqis have escaped from the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIL or IS)-held city of Fallujah after government troops opened a corridor upon retaking a key road.

Iraqi forces helped civilians escape Fallujah.
Iraqi forces helped civilians escape Fallujah.

The Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC), which works with internally displaced Iraqis, said on June 13 that the latest numbers meant that some 27,580 civilians have fled Fallujah since the Iraqi offensive to oust IS fighters from the city began in late May.

Iraqi Brigadier General Yahya Rasul said the latest groups of displaced people escaped along the Al-Salam (Peace) Junction in the southwestern part of the city.

Aid groups estimate that at least 50,000 civilians are still trapped inside Fallujah, which has been under IS control for more than two years.

The United Nations said there could be as many as 90,000 civilians remaining in Fallujah, which has shortages of food and water.

The NRC said some refugees reported that IS militants are demanding payments of some $130 per person to leave the city, which is just 30 kilometers away from Baghdad.