Every day little Mohammad Salem roams the streets of Mosul, left with no choice but to hawk tissues after his father was killed by jihadists who overran Iraq's second city.

A year on from Iraqi's forces announcing the ''liberation"of Mosul from the Islamic State group, the scars of the bloody nine-month offensive to oust the militants are still visible in the city.

After loosing parents either in the battle or during IS's brutal three year occupation of Mosul, dozens of children have turned to streets peddling or begging to survive.

"I sell tissues....I go out every day from seven in the morning to 10 at night," 12-year old Salem tells AFP , wiping sweat from his face as the sun beats down on the Nabi Younis junction in eastern Mosul.

His mother's only child, Salem hopes to scratch out a living for the two of them. His father was killed by jihadists before the push to retake Mosul began, leaving the family without a bread winner.

According to the group  Orphan's Joy in Ninveh, encompassing Mosul and the wider province, there is no official data on the number of children who have lost their parents.

But the group's research has pointed to the  "presence of 6,200 orphans in Nineveh, of which 3,283 whose parents were killed in the latest events in Mosul, the organisation's head, Kedar Mohammed, told AFP.

'Our House was destroyed".

Mosul's two orphanages   -one for boys and one for girls   -have seen large numbers of children aged  six to 18  seeking shelter, according to administrators.

Each day, dozens of children spread across Mosul's intersections and traffic signals to ask for money.

This and dressed in tattered clothes, they trail pedestrians and extend hands to passing cars, Some wash windows or sell tissues and water.

"My family was killed and our house was destroyed  in the bombardment of the Old City', 10-year old  Ali Bunyan told AFP, unable to hold back his tears.

Fighting destroyed  nearly 90 percent of western Mosul's Old City, which now lies in ruins and is devoid of any major reconstruction projects. [Agencies].


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