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Pictures | Tue Apr 4, 2017 | 8:02pm BST

Hot springs spa reopens amid Mosul chaos

An Iraqi cover his boy with sand from a sulfur pond at Hammam al-Alil city south of Mosul. Hammam al-Alil, a town south of Mosul once famous throughout Iraq for its healing hot waters, is back in business after a U.S.-backed offensive retook the area from Islamic State militants and authorities reopened its spa.

REUTERS/Suhaib Salem

An Iraqi cover his boy with sand from a sulfur pond at Hammam al-Alil city south of Mosul. Hammam al-Alil, a town south of Mosul once famous throughout Iraq for its healing hot waters, is back in business after a U.S.-backed offensive retook the area...more

An Iraqi cover his boy with sand from a sulfur pond at Hammam al-Alil city south of Mosul. Hammam al-Alil, a town south of Mosul once famous throughout Iraq for its healing hot waters, is back in business after a U.S.-backed offensive retook the area from Islamic State militants and authorities reopened its spa. REUTERS/Suhaib Salem
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An Iraqi boy jumps at a sulfur pond. This oasis of leisure now coexists, however, with camps housing more than 30,000 of the people displaced in the region by the campaign to dislodge Islamic State from Mosul, its the last major city stronghold in Iraq.

REUTERS/Suhaib Salem

An Iraqi boy jumps at a sulfur pond. This oasis of leisure now coexists, however, with camps housing more than 30,000 of the people displaced in the region by the campaign to dislodge Islamic State from Mosul, its the last major city stronghold in...more

An Iraqi boy jumps at a sulfur pond. This oasis of leisure now coexists, however, with camps housing more than 30,000 of the people displaced in the region by the campaign to dislodge Islamic State from Mosul, its the last major city stronghold in Iraq. REUTERS/Suhaib Salem
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An Iraqi cover his hand with sand from a sulfur pond. Residents have been flocking back since Islamic State was expelled from the town in early November, ending the days when bathers had to wear a tunic covering them from knee to navel as part of the Sunni Muslim movement's strict modesty code.

REUTERS/Suhaib Salem

An Iraqi cover his hand with sand from a sulfur pond. Residents have been flocking back since Islamic State was expelled from the town in early November, ending the days when bathers had to wear a tunic covering them from knee to navel as part of the...more

An Iraqi cover his hand with sand from a sulfur pond. Residents have been flocking back since Islamic State was expelled from the town in early November, ending the days when bathers had to wear a tunic covering them from knee to navel as part of the Sunni Muslim movement's strict modesty code. REUTERS/Suhaib Salem
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Iraqis bathe in a sulfur pond. "If you had only swimwear, Daesh (Islamic State) would whip you," said Wael Abdullah, 12, before diving into a pool. "The hisbah came checking that everyone had the right dress," he said, referring to the religious police that monitored everything from men's beards to women's veils.

REUTERS/Suhaib Salem

Iraqis bathe in a sulfur pond. "If you had only swimwear, Daesh (Islamic State) would whip you," said Wael Abdullah, 12, before diving into a pool. "The hisbah came checking that everyone had the right dress," he said, referring to the religious...more

Iraqis bathe in a sulfur pond. "If you had only swimwear, Daesh (Islamic State) would whip you," said Wael Abdullah, 12, before diving into a pool. "The hisbah came checking that everyone had the right dress," he said, referring to the religious police that monitored everything from men's beards to women's veils. REUTERS/Suhaib Salem
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An Iraqi man bathes in a sulfur pond. The elegant hotels at the spa are now shuttered or bombed out because Islamic State fighters used to live there. A machine gun nest at the entrance shatters any sense of normality. On Monday, the spa opened only at noon due to rumours of an Islamic State attack, said a federal police officer.

REUTERS/Suhaib Salem

An Iraqi man bathes in a sulfur pond. The elegant hotels at the spa are now shuttered or bombed out because Islamic State fighters used to live there. A machine gun nest at the entrance shatters any sense of normality. On Monday, the spa opened only...more

An Iraqi man bathes in a sulfur pond. The elegant hotels at the spa are now shuttered or bombed out because Islamic State fighters used to live there. A machine gun nest at the entrance shatters any sense of normality. On Monday, the spa opened only at noon due to rumours of an Islamic State attack, said a federal police officer. REUTERS/Suhaib Salem
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Iraqis bathe in a sulfur pond. Across the street is an indoor pool where locals and soldiers taking a day off from the front get a soapy massage. The spa used to be magnet for wellness tourists and rheumatism patients but had passed its heyday even before the Islamist militants arrived in 2014.

REUTERS/Suhaib Salem

Iraqis bathe in a sulfur pond. Across the street is an indoor pool where locals and soldiers taking a day off from the front get a soapy massage. The spa used to be magnet for wellness tourists and rheumatism patients but had passed its heyday even...more

Iraqis bathe in a sulfur pond. Across the street is an indoor pool where locals and soldiers taking a day off from the front get a soapy massage. The spa used to be magnet for wellness tourists and rheumatism patients but had passed its heyday even before the Islamist militants arrived in 2014. REUTERS/Suhaib Salem
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An Iraqi boy jumps into a sulfur pond. "We used to have visitors from Baghdad, the south and even the Gulf, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia," said Latif Mohammed, who was hired to help run the spa for 10,000 Iraqi dinars ($8.58) a day. "It was built in the '80s but needs refurbishing." He added: "We have some 200 spa visitors everyday, locals, soldiers ... There are also displaced people but many can't afford the 1,000 dinars entrance fee."

REUTERS/Suhaib Salem

An Iraqi boy jumps into a sulfur pond. "We used to have visitors from Baghdad, the south and even the Gulf, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia," said Latif Mohammed, who was hired to help run the spa for 10,000 Iraqi dinars ($8.58) a day. "It was built in the '80s...more

An Iraqi boy jumps into a sulfur pond. "We used to have visitors from Baghdad, the south and even the Gulf, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia," said Latif Mohammed, who was hired to help run the spa for 10,000 Iraqi dinars ($8.58) a day. "It was built in the '80s but needs refurbishing." He added: "We have some 200 spa visitors everyday, locals, soldiers ... There are also displaced people but many can't afford the 1,000 dinars entrance fee." REUTERS/Suhaib Salem
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An Iraqi boy bathes at a sulfur pond. Every five minutes or so, a bus pulls into Hammam al-Alil with more new arrivals. Up to 5,000 people come every day from the district or across the frontlines around Mosul, around 30 km (19 miles) to the north. The United Nations said on Tuesday the total number of displaced since the offensive began in October had exceeded 300,000 and camps for them are being expanded to take in even more people expected to flee the fighting in and around Mosul's densely populated old city.

REUTERS/Suhaib Salem

An Iraqi boy bathes at a sulfur pond. Every five minutes or so, a bus pulls into Hammam al-Alil with more new arrivals. Up to 5,000 people come every day from the district or across the frontlines around Mosul, around 30 km (19 miles) to the north....more

An Iraqi boy bathes at a sulfur pond. Every five minutes or so, a bus pulls into Hammam al-Alil with more new arrivals. Up to 5,000 people come every day from the district or across the frontlines around Mosul, around 30 km (19 miles) to the north. The United Nations said on Tuesday the total number of displaced since the offensive began in October had exceeded 300,000 and camps for them are being expanded to take in even more people expected to flee the fighting in and around Mosul's densely populated old city. REUTERS/Suhaib Salem
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Iraqis bathe in a sulfur pond. REUTERS/Suhaib Salem

Iraqis bathe in a sulfur pond. REUTERS/Suhaib Salem

Iraqis bathe in a sulfur pond. REUTERS/Suhaib Salem
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An Iraqi man bathes at a sulfur pond. REUTERS/Suhaib Salem

An Iraqi man bathes at a sulfur pond. REUTERS/Suhaib Salem

An Iraqi man bathes at a sulfur pond. REUTERS/Suhaib Salem
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Iraqis swim at a sulfur pond. REUTERS/Suhaib Salem

Iraqis swim at a sulfur pond. REUTERS/Suhaib Salem

Iraqis swim at a sulfur pond. REUTERS/Suhaib Salem
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An Iraqi boy bathes in a sulfur pond. REUTERS/Suhaib Salem

An Iraqi boy bathes in a sulfur pond. REUTERS/Suhaib Salem

An Iraqi boy bathes in a sulfur pond. REUTERS/Suhaib Salem
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Iraqis bathe in a sulfur pond. REUTERS/Suhaib Salem

Iraqis bathe in a sulfur pond. REUTERS/Suhaib Salem

Iraqis bathe in a sulfur pond. REUTERS/Suhaib Salem
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