The United Nations has significantly revised the number of civilians believed to still be inside the besieged Iraqi town of Fallujah, a stronghold of the (ISIS) organization to up to 90,000 - compared with a previous estimate of 50,000.
The offensive by the Iraqi army, backed by militias, to dislodge ISIS from Fallujah began on May 23, but the city has been under a de facto siege for about six months.
UN Humanitarian Coordinator for Iraq Lise Grande said on Wednesday that civilians could face a "harrowing" situation in the city 50km west of the Iraqi capital.
"We have underestimated how many civilians are in Fallujah," Grande said.
"People who are coming out are giving us the strong impression that we could be talking about maybe 80,000 to 90,000 civilians that are inside." Thousands of civilians are caught in the crossfire in and around Fallujah, close to the capital Baghdad, as government forces and allied militias are trying to recapture the city.
Grande said that more than 20,000 people have managed to flee the city in extremely difficult conditions, having walked for days and faced ISIS fire to reach government-held areas.
Source : QNA