ISIS Holds 1,00,000 as Human Shields in Mosul’s Old City: UN

They’re provided with no food, water or electricity, Bruno Geddo, UN refugee agency’s representative in Iraq said.

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ISIS fighters. (Photo: AP)

The United Nations said Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) jihadists may be holding more than one lakh Iraqi civilians as human shields in the Old City of Mosul.

Iraqi forces are fighting to retake Mosul from ISIS, after the jihadist group overran the city in 2014. The Old City is one of the last parts of the city under their control.

The UN refugee agency's representative in Iraq, Bruno Geddo, said ISIS had been capturing civilians in battles outside of Mosul and forcing them into the Old City.

"More than 1,00,000 civilians may still be held in the Old City," Geddo told reporters in Geneva.

These civilians are basically held as human shields in the Old City. They’re provided with no food, water or electricity. The civilians are living in an increasingly worsening situation of panic and are surrounded by fighting on every side.

Since the battle to retake Mosul began nine months ago, an estimated 8,62,000 people have been displaced from the city, although 1,95,000 have since returned – primarily to the liberated east of the city.

That means 6,67,000 people remain displaced, nearly all of them from western Mosul, and are living in 13 camps set up by UNHCR or with host families.

Geddo said the UN agency so far had provided assistance to more than 5 lakh of the displaced, and was attempting to help those returning to Mosul.

(With inputs from PTI.)

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