UN: thousands of Iraqi civilians continue to flee Fallujah

BAGHDAD (AP) — The United Nations says thousands of civilians continue to flee Fallujah after most of the city was declared liberated from the Islamic State group.

The U.N. said Sunday more than 80,000 civilians have fled Fallujah and its surrounding areas since the operation to retake it from IS was announced last month.

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi declared victory for Iraq on Friday after special forces recaptured most of the city after weeks of fighting.

The Norwegian Refugee Council says the civilian exodus has overwhelmed camps run by the Iraqi government and humanitarian groups, leaving thousands without shelter or proper sanitation.

The conflict that erupted in Iraq after IS blitzed across the country in the summer of 2014 has forced more than 3.4 million people to flee their homes.

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