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Inside Mosul, tense wait under the clouds of war

As Iraqi forces close in on Mosul, trapped civilians report thick smoke enveloping the city's empty streets as their jihadist rulers attempt to shield themselves from intensifying US-led coalition air strikes. After more than two years of Islamic State group rule, there is hope but also fear of what lies ahead. Mosul, a large city split by the Tigris river, is where IS declared its "caliphate" two years ago but is now the jihadists' last major stronghold in Iraq.
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