UN concerned over fate of civilians in Kirkuk province of Iraq

The United Nations has expressed deep concern for the safety of the civilian populations in the Hawiga region of Kirkuk Governorate after the Iraqi military secured the area from Islamic State terrorist fighters over the weekend. The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs is particularly worried about possible incidents of "collective punishment, restrictions on free movement, evictions, forced returns and sexual exploitation and violence." Hawija district has approximately 150,000 inhabitants. On 4 October, Iraqi troops entered the city of Hawija with ISIS fighters showing very little resistance. The area was mostly cleared of terrorist fighters by October 8.