Middle East

UN says 30,000 have returned to Iraq's Mosul

  • Men wait around a truck to receive permission from Kurdish officials to cross the Khazer checkpoint on the road to Mosul on Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2017. The United Nations says some 30,000 people have returned to neighborhoods in Mosul retaken from the Islamic State group since the operation to push the militants from the city was officially launched in October. (AP Photo/Bram Janssen)

    Men wait around a truck to receive permission from Kurdish officials to cross the Khazer checkpoint on the road to Mosul on Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2017. The United Nations says some 30,000 people have returned to neighborhoods in Mosul retaken from the Islamic State group since the operation to push the militants from the city was officially launched in October. (AP Photo/Bram Janssen)  (The Associated Press)

  • In this Tuesday Feb. 7, 2017 photo cars are lined up outside the Khazer checkpoint on the road from Irbil to Mosul. The United Nations says some 30,000 people have returned to neighborhoods in Mosul retaken from the Islamic State group since the operation to push the militants from the city was officially launched in October. (AP Photo/Bram Janssen)

    In this Tuesday Feb. 7, 2017 photo cars are lined up outside the Khazer checkpoint on the road from Irbil to Mosul. The United Nations says some 30,000 people have returned to neighborhoods in Mosul retaken from the Islamic State group since the operation to push the militants from the city was officially launched in October. (AP Photo/Bram Janssen)  (The Associated Press)

  • Children wait on the back of a pick up truck outside the Khazer checkpoint on the road to Mosul, Tuesday Feb. 7, 2017. The United Nations says some 30,000 people have returned to neighborhoods in Mosul retaken from the Islamic State group since the operation to push the militants from the city was officially launched in October. (AP Photo/Bram Janssen)

    Children wait on the back of a pick up truck outside the Khazer checkpoint on the road to Mosul, Tuesday Feb. 7, 2017. The United Nations says some 30,000 people have returned to neighborhoods in Mosul retaken from the Islamic State group since the operation to push the militants from the city was officially launched in October. (AP Photo/Bram Janssen)  (The Associated Press)

The United Nations says some 30,000 people have returned to neighborhoods retaken from the Islamic State group in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul since a major operation to drive out the militants began in October.

The U.N.'s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said Tuesday that the number of returnees has steadily increased since Iraqi forces declared the eastern half of the city "fully liberated" last month.

The western half of Mosul, home to an estimated 750,000 people, is still held by the militants.

The extremist group captured Mosul in a matter of days in the summer of 2014, when it swept across northern and central Iraq.

Some 190,000 people have been displaced since then, either by the militants or military operations against them, according to the U.N.