Street battles rage in Mosul as ISIL counterattacks

  |   World News

The International Organisation for Migration said on Saturday more than 49,000 people had been displaced since the operation began. In recent days the advance has slowed as they fight their way into densely populated neighbourhoods, with the urban landscape making defence easier for ISIL.

In a rare audio message released earlier this month, ISIL leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi - whose whereabouts are unknown - said there could be no retreat in a "total war" against the forces arrayed against ISIL, telling fighters they must stay loyal to their commanders.

In a brief published on Friday, the UN's human rights office said ISIL carried out a series of executions and abuses and that 40 people had been killed by the armed group for "treason and collaboration" with Iraqi forces and their allies closing in on the city.

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