100,000 civilians held by IS in Mosul’s Old City as ‘human shields’ – UN

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GENEVA: The UN said Friday that Islamic State group jihadists may be holding more than 100,000 Iraqi civilians as human shields in the Old City of Mosul. Iraqi forces are fighting to retake Mosul from IS, after the jihadist group overran the city in 2014, imposing its brutal rule on its inhabitants. The UN refugee agency’s representative in Iraq Bruno Geddo said IS had been capturing civilians in battles outside of Mosul and had been forcing them into the Old City, one of the last parts of the city in their grip. Geddo said that “these civilians are basically held as human shields in the Old City.” With virtually no food, water or electricity left in the area, the civilians are “living in an increasingly worsening situation of penury and panic,” he said. Snipers meanwhile try to kill anyone trying to leave the area under jihadist control, he said, adding that the few who manage to escape are “deeply traumatized.”

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AFP

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