ISIL fighters have abducted more than 8,000 families to use as human shields in Mosul, according to the United Nations’ human rights office.
They captured them from the area around the Iraqi city, before bringing them into the centre to use near military installations.
Iraqi forces are closing in on Mosul, recapturing villages from ISIL militants.
As the jihadists retreat, they have been taking the residents with them to be used as human shields, and for those who refused the punishment was quick.
The UN received reports that at least 232 people were killed for refusing to obey ISIL, including 190 former members of Iraq’s security forces, while some 8,000 families were kidnapped.
“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. Many of those who refused to comply were shot on the spot,” UN Human Rights Spokesperson, Ravina Shamdasani told reporters.
For the residents of Faziliyah, it was a different story. They poured onto the streets to greet Iraqi Kurdish forces who freed them from ISIL.
Iraqi forces, backed by US-led air strikes, began an offensive to retake Mosul from ISIL last week.
The troops are encircling Mosul for the final battle, which could be the most complex since the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003.
Still photos show an elite unit exploring ISIL’s tunnels in a village on the front line, giving a glimpse of the challenge they face.
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