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Shiite volunteers help feed children in a liberated neighborhood of west Mosul, near the Old City, where Iraqi security forces continue to battle Islamic State militants who have held the city for nearly three years.
Shiite volunteers help feed children in a liberated neighborhood of west Mosul, near the Old City, where Iraqi security forces continue to battle Islamic State militants who have held the city for nearly three years. (Chad Garland/Stars and Stripes)

MOSUL, Iraq — As Iraqi forces continue to battle Islamic State militants in west Mosul, families are streaming out of the city. Yet some remain, striving to eke out whatever semblance of normal life they can in the embattled city, where food and water is scarce.

In response to a call from Shiite cleric Ali Sistani, and hoping to show unity among the country's Muslim sects, two groups of Shiite volunteers from Diyala and Kut in southern Iraq are trucking in food and supplies to provide for the largely Sunni residents sticking it out in liberated areas near the front lines.

garland.chad@stripes.com Twitter: @chadgarland

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Chad is a Marine Corps veteran who covers the U.S. military in the Middle East, Afghanistan and sometimes elsewhere for Stars and Stripes. An Illinois native who’s reported for news outlets in Washington, D.C., Arizona, Oregon and California, he’s an alumnus of the Defense Language Institute, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Arizona State University.
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