BAGHDAD: Ramadi have caused extensive destruction, officials said, warning that it was too soon for civilians to return to the Iraqi city after its recapture from militants.
Iraqi forces declared victory on Sunday night in the Ramadi battle after wresting back control of the city’s central government complex from the Islamic State group. Some militants have yet to be flush out, mostly on the eastern edge of the city. Many reconquered areas have yet to be fully cleared of roadside bombs and booby traps.
Member of Ramadi district council Osej said that “There is extensive destruction in the city as a result of terrorist activity and military operations.”
The Islamic State militants had laid thousands of explosive devices across Ramadi as part of their defence against an offensive that was launched on December 22 by elite federal forces.
“Preliminary estimates show that more than 3,000 homes have been completely destroyed” in Ramadi, which lies around 100 kilometres west of Baghdad, Osej said.
He said that the figure would grow because assessments could not be immediately carried out in some neighbor hoods that had not been cleared of mines.
“Thousands of other homes have suffered varying degrees of damage,” Osej said.