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Mosul celebrates first Eid without Islamic State in three years

Sunday, June 25, 2017 - 01:28

Mosul residents celebrated their first Muslim Eid holiday without Islamic State in three years on Sunday (June 25), amid sadness over the destruction of their beloved leaning historic minaret and hope that the battle to control the city will end in a few days. Mia Womersley reports.

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Jubliant celebrations in eastern Mosul for the first Eid festivities without Islamic State in years. The militants were ejected from much of the Iraqi city in January. Those marking the end of Ramadan now hope the battle to recapture the remaining area will soon be over. (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) MAHER BAKR, RESIDENT OF MOSUL, SAYING: "It is a happy Eid. We are happy that we have got rid of Daesh (Islamic State), the rats, thank God. It is a pleasant Eid, thank God and we are happy. It is a great joy." Some children played with plastic guns and rifles. These were the sorts of toys allowed by Islamic State militants when they took over in 2014. Under their extreme version of Islam, toys with a face, like dolls, were associated with idolatry. They encouraged youngsters to train on weapons and add up bombs or bullets in maths exercises. But for many here, Sunday's Eid celebrations were overshadowed by the destruction of their historic leaning minaret. It was blown up by the militants on Wednesday. Others expressing fear for the thousands of civilians trapped in the Old City in western Mosul which still under IS control. (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) ISSAM IBRAHIM, RESIDENT FROM EASTERN SIDE OF MOSUL, SAYING: "May peace and security prevail on the Islamic nation in general and Iraqis and people of Mosul in particular. We want to tell our relatives who are still in the western side that the security forces are coming to save you, so do not be afraid and do not hesitate in co-operating with them." Iraqi authorities were hoping to declare victory in the northern city by the end of the fasting month of Ramadan. An army genereal now expects the battle for the city to end in a matter of days.

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Mosul celebrates first Eid without Islamic State in three years

Sunday, June 25, 2017 - 01:28