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Iraq steps up Mosul offensive

Airstrikes back forces on ground as civilians hunker down

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Photographs by AP/Maya Alleruzzo

A man rushes his daughter to safety while fleeing the al-Rifai neighborhood as Iraqi special forces battle Islamic State militants, in western Mosul, Iraq, Wednesday, May 17, 2017.

Military operations are accelerating in Mosul as part of a drive to retake the handful of districts still under Islamic State control before the holy month of Ramadan begins at the end of May. And despite recent allegations of increased civilian casualties, advances on the ground continue to be backed by heavy airstrikes and artillery.

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