August 23, 2017
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Life in Mosul to return to normal in 3 years, says official

Mosul, Iraq, Jul 17 (efe-epa).- After the destruction caused by fighting between Iraqi security forces and militants from the Islamic State terror organization in the Iraqi city of Mosul, the deputy governor of Nineveh province told EFE on Monday that it would take the region three years to return to normal.

In his office at the province's temporary headquarters in eastern Mosul, Hassan al-Allaf said they needed to rebuild basic infrastructure in five sectors: health, roads, neighborhoods, water and electricity, which is set to take three years.

Al-Allaf did not provide figures of the cost of reconstruction, although he indicated they were drawing up a budget, expected to be ready in the next 30 days, which would not include other expenses such as economic compensation for citizens.

He added only three of the nine hospitals were partially operating in the city; two in Mosul's eastern sector and one in the western part, the most damaged.

The bridges and the neighborhoods of the city, according to al-Allaf, are practically isolated from each other, which is why it is necessary to fix communication channels.

The deputy governor also stressed the importance of reopening Mosul airport in order to reestablish direct contact with the outside world, and fixing the water and electricity infrastructure that mainly affect the city's western sector, where fighting broke out on Feb. 19.

In a very small part of western Mosul, there are still several foreign fighters who have taken refuge in al-Qaliyyat area and on the Tigris river, according to al-Allaf.

Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi announced the complete liberation of Mosul on Wednesday and a few days later he presided over a celebratory military parade in Baghdad.

Al-Allaf acknowledged that IS extremists were still present in Tal Afar al-Halabiya and Ayadiyah, in western Mosul.

However, he said he did not know the number of civilians still living in those IS-held areas.

The official prioritized achieving stabilization in the province and in its capital, with authorities establishing a camp in the area of Bartala, eastern Mosul.

According to the deputy governor, this location is temporary and aims to protect families from possible IS attacks.

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