Nineveh (IraqiNews.com) Three refugees were killed Thursday in a twin blast carried out by Islamic State militants north of Mosul, an Iraqi military source told Anadolu Agency.
Ahmed al-Mosawi, a brigadier general at the army’s 16th division, said two suiciders wearing explosive belts sneaked in the middle of refugees from Hadbaa area, and were heading towards security forces but blew themselves up once discovered by the officers.
The deaths included two men and a woman, while an eight-year-old child was wounded.
Military operations by the Iraqi government running since October to drive out Islamic State from Mosul have forced 173.000 people to flee their residences in the city. Hundred thousands others remain stranded into battlefields and are reportedly used as human shields. Many are also targeted upon attempting to flee Islamic State-held regions.
On Wednesday, the United Nations Humanitarian Coordinator in Iraq, Lise Grande, said civilians represent 47 percent of casualties resulting from Mosul encounters.
There are more than 3 million internally-displaced people in Iraq, the UN says.
Iraqi officials and US generals backing government forces in their battles say IS could be defeated out of the city within 2-3 months. The number of militants killed since the launch of operations stands at more than 1800.