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IS kills dozens of fleeing west Mosul residents

IS has repeatedly targeted civilians attempting to flee areas under its control [Anadolu]

Date of publication: 8 April, 2017

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Islamic State fighters have killed dozens of civilians attempting to flee Mosul in recent days, hanging several dead bodies from electricity poles, Iraqi officials and witnesses said Friday.

Islamic State fighters have killed dozens of civilians attempting to flee Mosul in recent days, hanging several dead bodies from electricity poles, Iraqi officials and witnesses said Friday.

"According to our CT Department, on Monday and Tuesday, ISIS massacred 140 civilians fleeing to areas controlled by Iraqi forces," the Kurdistan Region Security Council (KRSC) said in a tweet, using an alternate acronym for IS.

"Some bodies were later hung on electrical poles in [the] Eslah, Zirai and Tanak neighbourhoods. Others were taken to nearby frontlines," the KRSC wrote.

Reuters reported that one eyewitness had seen the body of his relative strung up from an electricity pole along with three other men who had attempted to escape IS-held areas.

"Their appearance was shocking. We weren't able to get them down and they have been there for two days," the witness told Reuters.

Iraqi forces are battling to recapture west Mosul from IS, which has left hundreds of civilian casualties and pushed more than 200,000 to leave their homes.

IS has repeatedly targeted civilians with snipers, bombs and shelling in and around Mosul, and seized them for use as human shields.

The government has encouraged residents not to flee during the fighting - a policy aimed at easing the burden of widespread displacement but which can heighten the risk of injury or death for civilians.

Iraqi forces on Wednesday dropped hundreds of thousands of leaflets containing procedures and recommendations for west Mosul residents, which included "remaining inside houses and staying away from known (IS) sites such as headquarters, checkpoints, artillery positions and barracks.”

IS overran large areas north and west of Baghdad in 2014, but Iraqi forces have since recaptured much of the territory that was lost to the jihadists.

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