Seven-year-old Anas lies in a hospital bed in the northern Iraqi city of Erbil, Iraq, December 17, 2016. REUTERS/Ammar Awad
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Seven-year-old Anas lies in a hospital bed in the northern Iraqi city of Irbil, his little body wrapped in bandages following four surgeries to remove shrapnel that shredded his intestines.Their house was in an eastern neighborhood the Iraqi government had declared "liberated" by its forces in their battle to recapture Mosul, Daesh's last major stronghold in Iraq. But the military's advance has been slow and punishing, and nine weeks in they have retaken just a quarter of the city.Iraqi authorities do not release statistics about those killed or wounded in the Mosul campaign in an apparent effort to maintain morale, but a month ago the United Nations warned that civilian casualties were overwhelming the capacity of the government and international aid groups operating in the area.Iraqi security officials at the Irbil hospital where Anas is being treated say dozens of wounded people from the Mosul area arrive each day, and that the majority are civilians.
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