Iraqis take rickety boats to safety due to floods
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.