Islamic State Kills More Than 200 as Battle for Mosul Intensifies
Geneva : Islamic State fighters have killed scores of people and are using tens of thousands more as human shields as government and Kurdish forces battle to reclaim Mosul, United Nations human rights investigators reported on Friday.
After killing a group of 25 former servicemen on Tuesday, the militants shot to death at least 190 former members of the Iraqi security forces at a military base in Mosul on Wednesday, Ravina Shamdasani, a spokeswoman for the United Nations human rights office, told reporters in Geneva.
Islamic State members had rounded up the former servicemen and their families a day earlier. After transporting them to al-Ghazlani base, they separated the men from the women and children and shot them dead, Ms. Shamdasani said.
The militants also killed 42 civilians on Friday at a military base outside the city by shooting them in the head, she said, after they refused to join the Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL.
The Islamic State has forcibly relocated close to 7,900 families into the city from surrounding villages since the start of the operation to retake Mosul began on Oct. 17, Ms. Shamdasani said. “Many of those who refused to comply were shot on the spot,” she said.
The United Nations had corroborated the reports of the atrocities but cautioned that they were not comprehensive, she said, adding, “It doesn’t mean there aren’t more.”
The militants are surrounding themselves with tens of thousands of women, men and children as part of a “depraved cowardly strategy” of using them as human shields to discourage military action against the city, Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein, the United Nations human rights chief, said in a statement.
Using the United Nations average of six people per family, the rights office said, about 48,000 men, women and children have been forcibly relocated into Mosul, and it is likely that the scale of the humanitarian crisis will intensify as the fighting moves closer to the heart of the city.
That has raised the possibility that hundreds of thousands of civilians will try to flee the city as clashes grow closer, and relief agencies are working to stockpile supplies and establish camps.
Mr. al-Hussein also expressed concern at reports that “some individuals” had carried out revenge killings of people believed to be members of the Islamic State in areas south of Mosul and had vowed “eye for eye” retaliation, Ms. Shamdasani said, but she did not elaborate.
Source : The New York Times