'I need to stay': Iraqis linger on Mosul's frontline, where death and ISIS lurk around every corner

Business Insider | 4/3/2017 | Reuters
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MOSUL, Iraq (Reuters) - Sitting in a wheelchair and wearing sunglasses, pensioner Abdelraziq Abdelkarim enjoys the afternoon sun outside his house in Mosul after a day of rain. He does not flinch when a mortar opens fire just around the corner.

His home is on the busiest frontline in the northern Iraqi city just 200 m (yards) from Islamic State positions. Outside his house, Federal Police units are firing at the militants.

Government - Forces - Civilians - Mosul - Hardline

Government forces have been evacuating civilians as they fight to seize Mosul, once the hardline Sunni militant group's main urban stronghold in Iraq and now the scene of a six-month-old battle.

But some families refuse to go, shrugging off the danger of a mortar fired two blocks away or a counter-attack from the militants who move around at night. Gunfire rings out constantly between Federal Police and militants holed up in abandoned shops and apartments.

Life - House - Abdelkarim - Studio - Photographer

"I don't want to go. I've lived all my life in this house," said 72-year Abdelkarim, a former studio photographer, sitting next to his handicapped son and a grandchild.

They share a two-floor house in a narrow street with five people from two other families. Military Humvees and mortar launchers are just parked outside.

People - Mosul - Government - City - October

Almost 300,000 people have fled Mosul since the government offensive to recapture the city began in October, according to the United Nations.

But Abdelkarim and his friends dread going to one of the crowded camps where aid agencies sometimes place two families in one tent for lack of space. Others stay with relatives in cramped homes.

Food - Water - Petrol - Power - Generator

They had stocked up food, water and petrol for a power generator when the military campaign began. There is no food store at the frontline but soldiers sometimes share rations or a family member goes to one of the food distribution centers set up by the military, they say.

"We are maybe...
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