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Displaced Fallujah Residents Begin Returning After Battle Against IS

Many displaced people who fled from Fallujah because of Islamic State violence have been living in camps outside the city. (file photo)

Displaced Iraqi residents of Fallujah began returning to the city on September 17 -- the first batch of returnees since the town was recaptured from Islamic State (IS) militants by Iraqi security forces in June.

Correspondents report that only 14 families accepted the offer from authorities to return to Fallujah.

That is far short of the hundreds that had been promised by Iraqi authorities.

Only a small number of neighborhoods in the city, 50 kilometers west of Baghdad, have been cleared of explosives and booby-traps left behind by IS militants.

The cleared areas are in the north of Fallujah, which were relatively spared during the weeks-long operation by government security forces and allied militia fighters to retake the city.

There was far more destruction in Fallujah’s southern neighborhoods, and many areas in the south still need to be cleared of explosive devices before residents are allowed to return there.

Based on reporting by AFP and AP