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1400 UTC Newscast for October 27, 2016


Federal police forces take part in an operation against Islamic State militants in south of Mosul, Oct. 26, 2016.

From Washington, this is VOA News.

I’m Ira Mellman.

Civilians could be in the line of fire in Mosul. Witnesses report Islamic State fighters taking civilians from outlying villages and using them as human shields as they seek to defend the last major urban area they control in the county.

Also far, the Iraqi-led operation has involved retaking villages on a march toward Mosul. The United Nations says more than 10,000 civilians have fled their homes in and around the city, raising concern about their wellbeing and the availability of humanitarian resources.

Human Rights Watch (HRW) also expresses concern about Kurdish forces, who are playing a major role in the offensive, and what the group says is their arbitrary detention of men and teenage boys leaving Mosul.

HRW says according to others who fled, the men and boys over the age of 15 are separated from their families for extra screening to make sure they are not linked to Islamic State -- a process that could take weeks.

A U.N. (United Nations) humanitarian aid official for Syria says efforts will be renewed to secure the evacuation of nearly 200 wounded and allow medical and food supplies into the besieged rebel-held part of the Syrian city of Aleppo.

Jan Egeland says the U.N. team is “not giving up.” He says lack of trust, fear and misunderstandings, as well as unacceptable preconditions, have spoiled the efforts in the past.

"We're starting again today to try to do the three things: evacuate those who have very high expectations, had very high expectations, to finally get out to get proper treatment -- to have them evacuated; to get the medical supplies in; and to get the food and the other supplies in.”

This is VOA News.

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