IS executed more than 100 civilians in Mosul since Friday: security, observatory

Displaced Iraqis flee their homes as Iraqi forces battle with Islamic State militants, in western Mosul, Iraq March 24, 2017. REUTERS/Suhaib Salem

Mosul ( Islamic State militants have executed over 100 civilians for attempting to flee areas under their control in western Mosul since last Friday, according to security sources and a human rights group.

Col. Khodeir Saleh, from the Iraqi Joint Operations Command, told BasNews Tuesday that IS executed 20 Iraqi young men from Mosul for attempting to escape areas under their control towards others recaptured by security forces.

Also on Tuesday, Cap. Yunus Zanon, from the Nineveh police service, told DPA that a mass grave containing 24 decomposed corpses of women and young men was found by Federal Police forces inside al-Zahraa mosque in western Mosul. The officer said the dead bodies bore signs of torture, and that no IDs were found to identify the victims.

Meanwhile, the Iraqi Observatory for Human Rights said in a statement that Islamic State militants massacred more than 100 people in western Mosul last Friday.

It quoted local sources from central Mosul’s Old City on Sunday saying that IS massacred 22 families from the Mekkawi area after 22 young men belonging to those families tried to escape with the help of a Syrian smuggler. The smuggler reached the smuggling deal with the young men two months earlier, but the plan was delayed when Iraqi security forces invaded the region. IS members, finding out about the scheme, executed the young men, their families and the smuggler’s family.

According to IOHR, the executions were carried out inside popular bath houses in Mekkawi, with 106 corpses left for 14 hours before civilian-owned vehicles came to carry them for burial.

The organization quoted refugees from Orouba and Tanak district saying that tens of their relatives and friends died of hunger at Zanjili, Tanak and al-Refaie districts.

“My two little nephews, aged 3 and 4, died last month in Refaie region due to hunger…we have learned that their mom, too, was in bad condition due to starvation,” IOHR quoted a citizen from Orouba saying.

The observatory urged the Iraqi government to open airlifts to drop down foodstuff for civilians stranded at IS-held areas.

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