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13 December 2016
Only on AP: Iraq IS Life in Mosul
'Only on AP' highlights AP investigations, in-depth features and character-driven stories that take a different angle on the news.

* Iraq / IS Life in Mosul / Story #4071006

Iraq's second largest city, Mosul, was arguably the most multicultural place in Iraq, with a Sunni Muslim Arab majority but also thriving communities of Kurds, Shiites, Christians and Yazidis. Together, they created Mosul's distinct identity, with its own cuisine, intellectual life and economy.

But under Islamic State group rule, it was a place of literal and spiritual darkness. Women disappeared from the streets, children stayed home from school. Neighbours feared each other nearly as much as they feared the men in black who took the city of around two million by storm in June 2014.

The Associated Press interviewed more than two dozen residents who have left Mosul since Iraqi troops began retaking outlying districts last month. They gave a glimpse into what life was like in a place that has been virtually sealed off from the outside under the rule of the Islamic State group.

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