isilBaghdad, 16 Jumadil Awwal 1436/7 March 2015 (MINA) – The United Nations says clashes between Iraqi army forces and ISIL Takfiri terrorists have forced some 28,000 people to leave the militant-held city of Tikrit in the Arab country’s troubled north.

The UN said in a statement on Thursday that the residents of Tikrit had fled to the city of Samarra in the northern Salahuddin Province.

“Military operations in and around Tikrit have precipitated displacement of an estimated 28,000 people to Samarra,” said the UN statement, adding that reports show “additional displacements are under way and that yet more families remain stuck at checkpoints.”

The newly displaced Iraqis join an estimated 2.5 million people already uprooted their homes in the violence-torn country, Press Tv quoted by Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA) as reporting.

On March 2, some 30,000 Iraqi army forces launched an operation to retake Tikrit, which is located on the Tigris River and is the hometown of former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein.

The army’s operation to liberate the city is being conducted from five directions so the Takfiris can neither escape nor strengthen their defenses via sending reinforcement.

Iraqi media say the Ajil and Alas oilfields have been recaptured along with the nearby village of al-Maibdi, situated on the road between Tikrit and Kirkuk.

The crisis in Iraq escalated after the ISIL terrorists fighting in Syria took control of Mosul in last June which was followed by the fall of Tikrit, located 140 kilometers (87 miles) northwest of the capital Baghdad.

Ever since, the terrorists have resorted to atrocious crimes against the Iraqis in an attempt to breed fear amongst the nation and recruit more forces from around the globe.

The violence in Iraq has left at least 12,000 civilians dead and more than 23,000 people injured in 2014 alone as a result of the violence perpetrated by the Takfiris. (T/P002/R03)

Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA)