Fears of bombs, IS cells haunt Mosul months after 'liberation'
Mosul: Hussein Faleh has only one dream: to return to his home in the ravaged Old City of Iraq's Mosul.
But, more than four months after government forces declared victory in their operation to push the Islamic State group out of its largest stronghold, moving back into his house remains a distant prospect.
"I would love to go back and rebuild my house, but the security forces don't allow it," the unemployed father-of- three, 29, told AFP. While the fierce street battles to reclaim the winding alleyways of the second city's historic centre ended in July, officials and residents say the deadly legacy of jihadist rule still haunts Mosul's old heart.
The famed area that once boasted traditional houses, mosques and churches is now largely a deserted tangle of metal and rubble — stalked by fears of booby traps left behind by IS or sleeper cells of fighters ready to strike at any moment.
"Civilians regularly fall victim to explosions," said Ghazwan al-Dauaui, who is in charge of human rights for the local authorities.
Only the sound of the nearby Tigris river or the noises of stray animals can be heard among the ruins of buildings that still bare IS slogans.