Reuters: Civilians flee as Shi'ite fighters near flashpoint town near Mosul
Thousands of Iraqi civilians have fled Tal Afar as Shi'ite paramilitary groups close in around the Islamic State-held town on the road between Mosul and Raqqa, the main cities of the militant group's self-styled caliphate in Iraq and Syria.
The exodus from Tal Afar, 60 km (40 miles) west of Mosul, is worrying humanitarian organizations as some of the civilians are heading into insurgent territory, where aid cannot be sent to them, provincial officials said.
Popular Mobilisation units, a coalition of mostly Iranian-backed militias, are trying to encircle Tal Afar, a largely ethnic Turkmen town, as part of the offensive to capture Mosul, Islamic State's last major stronghold in Iraq.
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