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Honking Horns Hail the Liberation of Mosul From Islamic State

Khalid Al Ansary , Donna Abu-Nasr , and Caroline Alexander

Soldiers cleared explosives from Mosul’s historic quarter after its liberation all but ended Islamic State’s presence in Iraq, three years of occupation that left a trail of human misery and devastation that could cost $100 billion to rebuild.

Power and water supplies will be restored in the first phase of a 10-year program to rebuild Mosul, much of which was reduced to rubble during nine months of fighting, Planning Ministry spokesman Abdul Zahra Al-Hindawi said by phone on Monday. But in a sign of the immense challenges ahead, he estimated that reconstructing all areas of Iraq that fell to Islamic State would cost at least $50 billion, and maybe double that amount. Iraq wants to hold a donor conference in Kuwait by early next year.

“The government is intensifying efforts to restore life in the destroyed areas,” Mudher Saleh, economic adviser to Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi, said by phone. Islamic State -- which was welcomed in parts of western Iraq as well as Mosul by some Sunni residents angered by economic neglect and mistreatment by security forces -- will look to use any disenchantment once families return to destroyed communities to “incite riots again,” he said.

Abadi declared Mosul’s liberation in a visit to the ravaged city Sunday. The victory marks a major blow against Islamic State, whose leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi made his first speech as self-proclaimed caliph from one of the city’s mosques in 2014. 


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