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U.N.: Fallujah Residents Might Begin Returning Home Starting August | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Civilians who have fled their homes in Fallujah. Reuters

The United Nations said Iraqi authorities will allow civilians who had fled Fallujah after the attacks on the recently liberated city to return home by the start of August.

More than 85,000 people had escaped during the one-month campaign in Fallujah, which the Iraqi army recaptured from the ISIS terrorist group late last month. Fallujah is located a one-hour drive west of the capital, Baghdad.

The U.N. refugee agency, UNHCR, said in a report issued Thursday that the level of ruin would make it hard for residents to return to the city soon, and that explosive devices constitute a main threat.

Civilians currently living in government tents rely on aid provided by the U.N. and other humanitarian organizations. Those living in tents represent one third of Fallujah’s population before ISIS controlled the city two and a half years ago.

Due to a financial shortage, many civilians lack proper shelters or enough food and water, and live in an extremely hot environment, with temperatures surpassing 50 degrees.

UNHCR said it fears that the bad conditions under which the civilians live might lead to the spread of contagious diseases such as Cholera and skin diseases.