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1200 UTC Newscast for October 18, 2016


Iraqi forces are deployed during an offensive to retake Mosul from Islamic State militants outside Mosul, Iraq, Oct. 17, 2016.

Iraqi forces are deployed during an offensive to retake Mosul from Islamic State militants outside Mosul, Iraq, Oct. 17, 2016.


From Washington, this is VOA News.

I’m Frances Alonzo reporting.

Three staff at an Indian hospital have been suspended after a deadly blaze in the intensive care unit, according to authorities Tuesday, as the toll from the disaster rose to 20.

Dozens of patients were transferred to other hospitals -- some in critical condition.

Akhila Bihari Ota is a local official.

“Right now, there are handling all people who are getting treated at various hospitals. We are trying to see that, you know, the best of treatment is provided to the people who have been admitted. And we hope that nothing wrong further happens.”

Fire broke out on Monday night in the dialysis ward of a hospital in Odisha state.

Some 30,000 Iraqi, and Kurdish Peshmerga, and Sunni tribal fighters paused Tuesday on the second day of an assault to retake the northern Iraq city of Mosul from a two-year Islamic State occupation.

The pause was requested by the Kurds for more time to achieve their objectives.

The air and ground assault was launched early Monday from multiple directions.

Meanwhile, the U.N. Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for Iraq expressed alarm over the fate of the civilian population in Mosul.

"We would expect up to a million civilians would try and leave the city. Of the million, upwards of 700,000 people would need some kind of shelter. They would be unable to reach villages or they wouldn't be sponsored. They would depend upon us to be in a camp, or to be in a tent, or to receive some kind of direct assistance."

Meanwhile, France is to host an international meeting on the political future of Mosul on Thursday. That is according to the French Foreign Minister.

This is VOA News.

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