QAYARA AIR BASE, Iraq (AP) — The Islamic State group appears to be using tens of thousands of people as “human shields” in and around Mosul, where Iraqi forces are waging a large-scale offensive aimed at retaking the country’s second largest city, the U.N. human rights office said Friday.
It has received reports of more than 200 people being killed for refusing to comply with IS orders or previously belonging to Iraqi security forces. It said “credible reports” suggest IS has been forcing tens of thousands from their homes in districts around Mosul.
“ISIL’s depraved, cowardly strategy is to attempt to use the presence of civilian hostages to render certain points, areas or military forces immune from military operations, effectively using tens of thousands of women, men and children as human shields,” spokeswoman Ravina Shamdasani said in Geneva.
She said 232 people, mostly former officers, were reportedly shot Wednesday, and 24 on Tuesday.