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Total number of people displaced from Mosul exceeds 200,000: IOM

An Iraqi special forces soldier helps a family carry their child to cross from Islamic State controlled part of Mosul to Iraqi forces controlled part of Mosul, Iraq, March 4, 2017. REUTERS/Goran Tomasevic

BAGHDAD (Reuters) - The total number of civilians displaced from Mosul has risen sharply over the past days and exceeded 200,000 on Sunday, according to the International Organization for Migration (IOM).

The displaced are fleeing the fighting between U.S.-backed Iraqi forces and Islamic State militants who have controlled the northern Iraqi city since 2014.

The IOM’s Mosul Displacement Tracking Matrix showed the total number of people displaced form Mosul since the start of the offensive on Islamic State in the city in October exceeding 206,000 on Sunday, versus 164,000 on Feb. 26.

International aid agencies have expressed concern over the past few days that camps to accommodate displaced people are approaching full capacity.

Iraqi forces captured the eastern side of Mosul in January after 100 days of fighting and launched their attack on the districts that lie west of the Tigris river on Feb. 19.

Reporting by Maher Chmaytelli. Editing by Jane Merriman