People

Almost 7000 Iraqi civilians killed in 2016

Almost 7000 Iraqi civilians killed in 2016

The incident occurred as the Iraqi security forces backed by anti-Islamic State coalition are carrying out a major offensive to drive out the militants from its last major stronghold in and around Mosul.

The numbers have to be considered the "absolute minimum" as many conflict deaths as well as lives lost to the secondary effects of violence such as lack of food, water, adequate health care and exposure to the elements could not be verified.

However, the UN's refugee agency says the numbers have increased by almost 50% to 2,300 daily.

"Right before Christmas was a decision to huddle a lot more frequently, so they're doing that more".

Supported by Kurdish Peshmerga fighters, Iraqi troops kicked off operations on October 17, 2016 to recapture the city which fell into IS hands in June 2014 after government forces fled.

More than 125,000 people have been displaced out of a population of roughly 1.5 million. That had helped stem casualties, which the government does not report but sources said on some days reached a few dozen.

However, people from the besieged west, which is still under the militants control, are increasingly attempting to escape.

Fog disrupts flights across Europe
Fred Legace, the airport's managing director, says all remaining outbound flights for December 28 have been cancelled. Belfast City Airport advised anyone due to travel on Friday to check with their airline for updates.

As they advanced, many more civilian casualties were also being recorded, the United Nations said. The official, from the Interior Ministry and speaking on condition of anonymity, said another 62 people were injured.

Vastly outnumbered, the militants have embedded themselves among residents and are using the city terrain to their advantage, concealing vehicle bombs in narrow alleys, posting snipers on tall buildings with civilians on lower floors, and making tunnels and surface-level passageways between buildings.

It is in its 12th week.

The military campaign began on 17 October previous year.

What would victory in Mosul mean?

At least four other attacks across Baghdad, some also claimed by Islamic State, killed nine more people earlier in the day, bringing the total death toll from bombings in the capital over the past three days to more than 60.

An Iraqi victory in Mosul would probably spell the end for ISIL's self-styled caliphate.


  • Megyn Kelly ditches Fox News Channel, jumps to NBC

    Megyn Kelly ditches Fox News Channel, jumps to NBC

    A number of other women also stepped forward with similar stories, indicating a pattern of abuse likely dating back decades. She will also become an important contributor to NBC's breaking news, political and special events coverage.
    Oil unlikely to rise above $60 per barrel in 2017

    Oil unlikely to rise above $60 per barrel in 2017

    Energy Information Administration (EIA) said U.S. crude inventories increased by 614,000 barrels for the week ending December 23. The weakness in oil prices on Thursday was linked to a surprise increase in USA oil inventory during the week to December 23.
    Brace yourselves, 'leap second' will mean 2016 lasts longer than expected

    Brace yourselves, 'leap second' will mean 2016 lasts longer than expected

    Naval Observatory's Master Clock facility, according to Chester, an astronomer at the observatory. So, a leap second gets added every few years to keep time as accurate as possible.
  • Juventus boss Massimo Allegri wants to replace Arsene Wenger in the summer

    Theo Wolcott snapped a tie in the 53rd minute before Sanchez completed his brace in stoppage time to secure the three points. Arsenal came out triumphant in this season's reverse fixture and remain favourites with the same firm at ( 1.81 ).
    Elite Iraq units link up for Mosul assault: Officers

    Elite Iraq units link up for Mosul assault: Officers

    Islamic State militant corpses litter southeast Mosul neighborhood streets following intense fighting with Iraqi forces. Meanwhile on Thursday, attacks in and around Baghdad killed at least 13 people and wounded 35 others, police said.
    Chip Kelly to be dismissed by San Francisco 49ers

    Chip Kelly to be dismissed by San Francisco 49ers

    Trent Baalke likely has been relaying to the powers-that-be and, in turn, persuade the 49ers to change their plans. The 49ers have not had to replace a coach and GM since 2005 when they hired Mike Nolan and Scot McCloughan.
  • Dolphins waiting to rule out Ryan Tannehill for wild-card game

    Dolphins waiting to rule out Ryan Tannehill for wild-card game

    Pittsburgh was without their star receiver the following week against the Denver Broncos in the AFC Divisional round. For the first time ever, Ben Roethlisberger, Antonio Brown and Le'Veon Bell will play a postseason game together.

    Israeli PM to face criminal probe over bribery, fraud

    Israel's Channel 2 TV reported Thursday that Netanyahu accepted "favors" from businessmen in Israel and overseas . It is alleged that the Prime Minister accepted bribes in the form of donations during his 2009 campaign.
    Taiwan urges calm in discourse with China

    Taiwan urges calm in discourse with China

    China also sailed a group of Chinese warships, led by its sole aircraft carrier, around the island in exercises it called routine. After Chinese Nationalist forces were defeated by Mao Zedong's Communists, the Nationalist government moved to Taiwan in 1949.
  • Wisconsin's Cotton Bowl win denies Western Michigan an unbeaten season

    Wisconsin's Cotton Bowl win denies Western Michigan an unbeaten season

    The Broncos made their living this season on turnover margin, and in the end, it was one of their turnovers that ruined the day. Wisconsin worked its way into WMU territory on the ensuing drive, but was held to a field goal, making it 17-7 at halftime.
    Dalvin Cook gashes MI  for beastly 71-yard run

    Dalvin Cook gashes MI for beastly 71-yard run

    The 5-foot-11, 215-pound Cook is Florida State's all-time leading rusher, with 4,464 yards and 46 touchdowns in three seasons. It comes less than 24 hours after his team's 33-32 victory over MI in the Capital One Orange Bowl at Hard Rock Stadium.
    Steve Smith Sr. '89 Percent Sure' He'll Retire

    Steve Smith Sr. '89 Percent Sure' He'll Retire

    Sunday will be a first for quarterback Joe Flacco . "I'd be a fool to say I'm not going to miss it", Smith said . However, Smith has shown he can still be productive and has caught 67 passes for 765 yards with five touchdowns.