Growing fears for civilians in Mosul as net closes around ISIL

Growing fears for civilians in Mosul as net closes around ISIL
By Seamus Kearney
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Iraqi officials are voicing increasing concern that ISIL is using civilians as human shields

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Mosul in Iraq is the last major bastion of ISIL militants and there is concern for the fate of the 1.5 million residents who still live there, caught up in the recent fierce battles between Iraqi forces and militants.

Iraqi officials have also voiced increasing concern that ISIL is using civilians as human shields as soldiers attempt to recapture the city from the control of militants.

The battle for Mosul moves into the city proper, and more residents try to flee. https://t.co/Ai5NrwVGUxpic.twitter.com/KuG6HelJ14

— New York Times World (@nytimesworld) November 1, 2016

Thousands of people have been displaced.

One man who fled with his family told reporters: “When Daesh (ISIL) was there it was bad. We were imprisoned, it was hell. There was no food, no water, no aid, nothing. But now things are better, thank God.”

Many people are desperately attempting to flee ISIL-controlled areas.

'Isil used me as a human shield': How Iraq's women have been faced with a deadly choice in the battle for Mosulhttps://t.co/9nw7KWKWoupic.twitter.com/67Jq4RIhLB

— The Telegraph (@Telegraph) November 1, 2016

Villagers and UN officials say civilians have been forced to walk alongside retreating militants to try to avoid becoming targets.

At a government camp for displaced people, Shura resident Adnan Shdash said: “We had to go through three villages to get here. Look there are children, old people, sick people. It’s miserable, but we can complain only to God.”

Mosul will fall. But the Islamic State won't, if its fighters turn to guerrilla warfare. https://t.co/xODbdwhj9spic.twitter.com/xn0FPYuYuS

— Foreign Policy (@ForeignPolicy) November 1, 2016

UN human rights workers say dozens of former soldiers have been killed by ISIL and the militants have attempted to transport scores of civilians on trucks and minibuses away from a town south of Mosul.

'Chop off the snake's head': Iraq's Abadi as forces battle Islamic State inside Mosul. https://t.co/wrftlgnpXZpic.twitter.com/EtLydYaky0

— Reuters Top News (@Reuters) November 1, 2016

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