Iraqi civilians drown fleeing Falluja as city nearly encircled

A member of the Shi'ite Badr Organisation carries his weapon in SaqlawiyaBy Ahmed Rasheed BAGHDAD (Reuters) – A boat carrying fleeing civilians across a river from the Islamic State stronghold of Falluja sank on Saturday, killing at least four people, as pro-Baghdad forces said they had the city almost completely encircled. Two children, their mother and a man drowned crossing the 300-metre (1,000-feet) wide Euphrates, one the few escape routes left for civilians hoping to leave the besieged town as the war against the militants intensifies. "I've seen with my own eyes my family disappear under the water," said Abu Tabarak, who watched from the Islamic State-held side of the river as the boat sank with his wife, son and daughter aboard.

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