Iraqi troops discover 16 civilian corpses in western Mosul’s Old City

A military vehicle of Iraqi Counter-Terrorism Service (CTS) forces is seen at the site of car bomb attack during a battle with Islamic State militants in Andalus neighborhood of Mosul, Iraq, January 17, 2017. REUTERS/Alaa Al-Marjani

Mosul ( Iraqi government forces discovered 16 dead bodies of civilians in western Mosul’s Old City district on Sunday, saying they had probably been executed by Islamic State militants.

Quoted by Anadolu Agency, Karim al-Nuaimi, a lieutenant at the Interior Ministry’s Rapid Response forces, said Sunday that the victims belong to Ras al-Jada district, and had apparently been executed by a firing squad for attempting to flee the area.

News reports said last week that IS executed 23 civilians from Ras al-Jada for refusing to evacuate their residences and move to another location with IS fighters.

Anadolu Agency also quoted Khaled al-Hilli, a colonel at the Iraqi army, saying that IS militants als shot dead two civilians trying to flee Bab Lakash area in central Mosul towards security forces.

Bab al-Jadid neighborhood in the Old City, Mosul

Iraqi troops have been struggling to retake the densely-populated and-structured Old City since operations launched in February to retake western Mosul in February.

Iraqi commanders and officials at the allied U.S.-led coalition have admitted to the difficulty of battles in that region, especially at the Old City, due to the high numbers of civilians stranded there, and who are believed to be used by IS as human shields.

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