Amina sits on the makeshift medical examination table staring at her wounds. Her blonde hair matted and caked in dust.
The little girl, who looks no older than three, was pulled out from the rubble of Mosul’s Old City where she had been trapped for days before Iraqi rescue workers heard her faint cries.
When they asked where her parents were she replied only that they had become “martyrs”.
Speaking little Arabic, they believe she is the daughter of Chechen Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isil) fighters who died in battle.
Dozens of children have been pulled, both dead and alive, from the rubble in recent days. Many orphans seem to be children of Isil fighters who either blew themselves up in suicide attacks or were killed by Iraqi forces in the jihadists’ final redoubt.
Commanders say most of those killed in the final days were foreign jihadists who “fought to the last” rather than surrender.
While Haidar al-Abadi, Iraq’s prime minister, declared the battle for Mosul over a week ago, a pocket of diehard Isil fighters still remains in the Old City.
US-led coalition air strikes have been used to dislodge them but houses have also been flattened in the process, leaving residents trapped underneath.
One young boy was found by soldiers so desperately hungry that he was eating raw meat from the ground, according to photographer Carol Guzy who captured the scene.
Another child taken to the clinic had been rescued after her mother, an Isil fighter, had reportedly blown herself up in a suicide attack.
The Chechen girl, whose gave her name as Khadija, told medics treating her that her father had become a “shahid” or martyr.
“She is now an orphan,” one doctor said.
In the past three days, Unicef, the children’s charity, said it has seen an increase in the number of unaccompanied children arriving at medical facilities. Some babies brought in have been found alone in the debris.
“Some children continue to suffer in the pockets of violence that persist in the old part of west Mosul. One doctor we spoke to told us that infants as young as one week old, children and mothers were emerging wounded and covered in dust and soil, some were malnourished,” said Hamida Ramadhani, Unicef’s deputy representative in Iraq.
“Although the battle for Mosul is coming to an end, children’s deep physical and mental scars will take time to heal. Some 650,000 boys and girls, who have lived through the nightmare of violence in Mosul, have paid a terrible price and endured many horrors over the past three years.”
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