ISIS terrorists have executed at least 284 men and boys in the Iraqi city of Mosul and nearby villages. Jihadists, who had used them as human shields, dumped the victims’ bodies in a mass grave, according to a report.
The victims, children among them, were all shot dead on Thursday and Friday, an Iraqi intelligence source, who asked to remain anonymous, told CNN.
ISIS seized Mosul in June of 2014, when it was Iraq’s second-largest city. The terrorist group’s leader then turned it into a major military stronghold, and it is believed that between 4,000 and 8,000 ISIS terrorists are currently entrenched there, according to Reuters. An estimated 1.5 million people remain in the city.
On Friday, ISIS terrorists took some 550 families from the villages around Mosul, holding them as human shields close to jihadist positions, Ravina Shamdasani, a spokeswoman for the UN human rights office said. Citing “corroborated information,” she said the office was also investigating reports that they had killed 40 civilians in one village, Reuters reported.
The battle for Mosul, the jihadists’ last major stronghold in Iraq, began on Sunday, and has since gained momentum. The Iraqi military and US-led coalition said that the operation to retake the strategically important city may take weeks or even months.
Earlier this week, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) sounded the alarm amid the carnage surrounding the new offensive, warning that ISIS terrorists may unleash chemical attacks and use tens of thousands as human shields.
“Tens of thousands of people may be forcibly expelled, they will be getting trapped between fighting lines under siege, they may even be held as human shields,” IOM’s chief of mission for Iraq, Thomas Weiss, told Reuters.
The UN says the aftermath of the Mosul campaign could require the“largest and most complex” humanitarian relief operation in the world, as up to one million people may be forced from their homes.