GENEVA, March 3 (Xinhua) -- The UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) said Friday that 100,000 children had been forced to flee Mosul since a military campaign to recapture the city from Islamic State (IS) militants began in October 2016.
This figure includes an estimated 16,000 children who have been forced to flee their homes since last week after the Iraqi government kicked off its second wave of military operations to recapture western parts of the northern city.
"The children and the families that we meet in Haman al-Alil are mostly coming by buses organized by the military," Bastien Vigneau, UNICEF's Regional Emergency Advisor, told the press via a telephone briefing from Baghdad.
He said that the children seemed both "exhausted" and "frightened" by what is taking place in Mosul, whose eastern side was liberated in late January after more than 100 days of fighting against IS militants.
According to UN estimates, as many as 250,000 people could be forced to flee their homes because of intense clashes in western parts of the city, where an estimated 750,000 people are trapped.