Iraqis take rick­ety boats to safety due to floods

New Straits Times - - World -

MO­SUL: The Iraqi man laid the body of his wife, wrapped in a black shroud, gen­tly on the bow of a small wooden boat and held onto it, as a sec­ond man rowed slowly to pick up the man’s three chil­dren stand­ing a few me­tres away.

The two teenage girls and young boy climbed in, care­ful not to dis­turb the bal­ance, for the cross­ing tak­ing their mother, killed in an air strike this week, to the east bank of the Ti­gris River.

It is an ex­tra hard­ship heaped on the fam­ily by the flood­ing of the Ti­gris and the dis­as­sem­bly of the last pon­toon bridge link­ing the two sides of Mo­sul, where the United States-backed Iraqi forces have been fight­ing to oust the Is­lamic State (IS) mil­i­tants who seized the city in 2014.

Many have been leav­ing the Mush­erfa district of west­ern Mo­sul af­ter US-backed Iraqi forces took it from IS on Fri­day, hop­ing to reach the rel­a­tive safety of the eastern banks of the river.

“We suf­fered IS’s in­jus­tice, and now that we are free, we were promised five bridges,” said 45year-old Mushref Mo­hamed, an ice fac­tory worker from Mush­erfa.

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