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Jan 17, 4:52 AM EST

UN: Iraq's battle for Mosul has made over 148,000 homeless

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IRBIL, Iraq (AP) -- The United Nations says the massive Iraqi military operation to retake the city of Mosul from the Islamic State group has made more than 148,000 people homeless.

The U.N. said in a statement released on Monday night that nearly 12,500 people were forced to flee their homes just over the past week.

The statement also says that the fighting over Iraq's second-largest city continues to inflict relatively high civilian casualties, with more than 1,500 wounded taken hospitals in the nearby city of Irbil for trauma care.

IS fighters have repeatedly targeted civilians trying to flee neighborhoods still under militant control.

More than a million people were estimated to still be living in Mosul in October, when Iraqi forces launched the operation to retake the country's second largest city from IS.

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