Emaciated figures limp out of tunnels and basements in the shattered Iraqi city, including some who were loyal to caliphate

Days after Iraq’s prime minister, Haider al-Abadi, declared victory over Islamic State forces in Mosul, emaciated figures were still emerging from tunnels and basements in the shattered city on Wednesday: old men carried on the backs of their sons and women wearing dusty, tattered abayas, dragging behind them their parched and thirsty children.

In the shadow of what had once been the city’s 12th century al-Nuri mosque, blown up by Isis fighters last month in the final, desperate days of battle, a special forces officer pointed at the families who were limping out of the ruins without a male relative.

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