Nineveh (IraqiNews.com) Islamic State militants have killed a mother and her child early Tuesday upon their attempt to escape group-held territory to others controlled by security forces in Mosul.
Hussein Hajem, Mosul’s mayor, told Sputnik News that a large number of civilians started to flee IS-held areas in eastern Mosul, hoisting white flags and heading towards Iraqi government troops, but were met with shooting by militants using light weapons.
The shooting, Hajem said, killed one woman, her child and an elderly man.
In western Mosul, a local source told Shafaaq news website that IS militants began to forcibly recruit civilians to fight on the extremist group’s side, taking their family members as hostages to ensure abidance.
“The group has taken children hostages aged between 5 and 8 to unknown destinations,” according to the source. “They invaded the residences of seven families who had declined to fight on IS’s side and arrested some family members”.
Islamic State has been reportedly receding in personnel and influence in Mosul over the past two weeks as Iraqi government troops, backed by U.S.-led international air forces and popular militias, continue daily successful advances to retake Iraq’s second largest city from the militant group.
Iraqi generals say they became in control over the eastern section of the city since operations launched in October, and plan to move to recapture IS western bastions after liberating that region.
The conflict in Mosul has forced 178.000 civilians to flee to refugee camps, but many were occasionally targeted by militants upon escaping.