AP PHOTOS: Iraqis displaced from Mosul marry in refugee camp

BRAM JANSSEN

KHAZER CAMP, Iraq (AP) — A bleak refugee camp in northern Iraq saw a rare outpouring of joy on Thursday as Hussein Danoon and Shahad Abed celebrated their wedding less than a month after fleeing the fighting in Mosul.

Before their wedding, the 25-year-old Danoon and his 16-year-old bride were taken to a beauty salon outside the camp and dressed in Kurdish clothes. The two are Arabs, but the camp management said the clothing symbolized coexistence.

The legal age for marriage in Iraq is 18, or 15 with parental permission.

It was only the second wedding held in the camp, where tens of thousands of people live in rows of tents. Iraqi forces have been battling Islamic State militants in and around nearby Mosul, the country's second largest city, since October.

The U.N. says some 160,000 people have been displaced by the Mosul operation. Iraqi forces declared the eastern half of the city "fully liberated" last month, but the militants still hold the entire city west of the Tigris River, and have carried out scattered attacks in the east. IS seized Mosul in the summer of 2014 when the extremists swept across much of northern Iraq.

Here is a series of photos by Bram Janssen from the wedding.

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