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U.N.: Civilians at extreme risk Iraqi military battles ISIS for control of Falluja

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U.N.: Civilians at extreme risk
Iraqi military battles ISIS for control of Falluja

Iraqi military battles ISIS for control of Falluja 01:52
The United Nations said it fears an estimated 50,000 civilians trapped in Falluja ahead of the government advance are at extreme risk.
"We are receiving distressing reports of civilians trapped inside Falluja who are desperate to escape to safety, but can't," Lise Grande, the U.N.'s humanitarian coordinator for Iraq, warned in a statement Wednesday.
Iraq's government has airdropped leaflets and broadcast advisories to residents to flee through "safe corridors" established by the military to camps outside the city, or wave white flags over their homes if they are trapped.
Iraqi forces celebrate the recapture of the town of Karma from ISIS.
Iraqi forces celebrate the recapture of the town of Karma from ISIS.
But activists said ISIS is preventing residents from leaving, and U.N. officials have said some have died trying to escape.
About 800 people had been able to flee to safety since Sunday, with most hailing from outlying areas, the U.N. statement said.
Some walked for hours in dangerous conditions to reach camps set up in Amiriyat al-Falluja, a city about 30 kilometers (19 miles) to the south.
"The U.N. and its partners have humanitarian teams and supplies on the ground," Grande said. "We've already begun providing people with food, water and shelter as they arrive and we'll be there as more people arrive."
Iraqi military battles ISIS for control of Falluja

Iraqi military battles ISIS for control of Falluja 01:52
Those who made it out described dire humanitarian conditions in Falluja, which has had supply routes cut off since government forces retook nearby Ramadi in December.
"Food supplies are limited and tightly controlled. Medicines are exhausted and many families have no choice but to rely on dirty and unsafe water sources," Grande said.

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