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KHAZER, Iraq – 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.