Daesh traps up to 20000 civilians in Mosul Old City: UN official

Displaced Iraqi children wait for a security check in Mosul. Save the Children say they risk lifelong mental damage if they do not get support

Daesh traps up to 20000 civilians in Mosul Old City: UN official

"We took control of more than 200 meters (yards) today and there are less than 200 meters remaining toward the Tigris River", Hussein said, referring to the waterway marking the eastern edge of remaining ISIL-held territory in the city.

The recapture of Mosul will not, however, mark the end of the war against IS. The trauma cases among civilians are sharply rising in the last stages of the battle, Doctors Without Borders (MSF) said on Wednesday.

Tens of thousands of civilians are believed to be trapped inside the city, and there are fears that the jihadists are using them as human shields.

The fighting against the last Daesh holdouts is heavy, and civilians caught in the middle of the battle are in "extreme danger", United Nations humanitarian coordinator in Iraq Lise Grande said.

Numerous civilians were injured while fleeing the Old City district where there are clashes between Islamic State and the Iraqi army, Col. Ahmad Hashim said.

Civilians who have managed to get medical treatment are suffering from burns, shrapnel and blast injuries, while many are in need of critical care and are malnourished, MSF officials said.

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The Iraqi Defense Ministry said two senior ISIS fighters were captured trying to flee from western Mosul to the town of Qayyara in the south.

Al Jazeera's Bernard Smith reports from nearby in Erbil.

The city has been largely evacuated as Philippines security forces attempt to drive the fighters out of the city with heavy artillery and airstrikes.

Iraqi forces slowed their advance on Tuesday through the last streets in Mosul controlled by Islamic State where militants and civilians are packed in densely together, a commander said. "It's really mass destruction. similar to the blitz of the Second World War, hospitals have been destroyed, neighbourhoods are in ruins".

ISIS overran large areas north and west of Baghdad in 2014, but Iraqi forces have since regained much of the ground they lost.

But they still hold other parts of Iraq and Syria, and are likely to revert to their insurgent roots, mounting hit-and-run and bomb attacks where they no longer hold territory.

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