At least 20,000 civilians killed by Islamic State since 2014 in Nineveh: Official

ISIS uses civilians as human shields in Rawa.

Nineveh ( More than 20,000 residents of Nineveh have been killed by Islamic State, while the militant group was in control of the province, according to the provincial council on Wednesday.

Speaking to Almaalomah website, Khalaf al-Hadidi, member of the council, said, “Nineveh lost many of its residents since Islamic State controlled in 2014 until it was liberated.”

The preliminary estimates, according to Hadidi, “indicate that more than 20,000 civilians from Nineveh were killed by Islamic State.” He added that “most of them were security personnel, children and youth, who refused to join the group.”

Among the victims also were “girls who refused to hand themselves in the group and others who committed suicide,” Hadidi said.

“Thousands of bodies are still missing as the mass graves, made by the militants, were hidden.” he added.

In December, the Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi announced gaining control on all the territories that were captured by Islamic State, since 2014.

Thousands of Islamic State militants as well as Iraqi civilians were killed since the government campaign, backed by paramilitary troops and the coalition was launched in October 2016.

The group still has dormant cells, through which it carries out attacks, across Iraq like it used to do before 2014.

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