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Will Mosul see peace post-Islamic State?

While the number of internally displaced persons returning to Mosul has increased significantly recently, the city's residents wonder when they can live in peace again.
General view of a building of the University of Mosul destroyed during the battle with Islamic State militants, in Mosul, Iraq January 30, 2017.  Picture taken January 30, 2017. REUTERS/Ahmed Jadallah - RTX2YYOF

Following the Jan. 25 announcement of the liberation of eastern Mosul by Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, an increasing number of families are leaving the camps for internally displaced persons (IDPs) in the Kurdistan Region. They are returning to Mosul and its surrounding area in the hope of rebuilding their lives as the Islamic State (IS) retreats further and the government tries to shoulder its responsibilities.

On a burnt-out road in Nour neighborhood in eastern Mosul, where just two weeks earlier IS militants and Iraqi security forces fought a ferocious battle, former civilian pilot Abu Salim, 75, has a smile on his face and is happy to be alive in spite of the fighting and the airstrikes that targeted his neighborhood repeatedly. People like Abu Salim, flanked by two of his sons, are volunteering to clean the streets in the hope to restore a normal routine to their lives after living under IS terror for more than two years.

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