Four aid workers killed by ISIS mortar fire in eastern Mosul

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Iraqi forces advance in the vicinity of Mosul. File photo

ARA News

The United Nations condemned the killing of civilians and aid workers in two separate incidents in Mosul city, in Iraq’s northwestern Nineveh Governorate.

At least four aid workers and at least seven civilians queuing for emergency assistance in eastern Mosul city have been killed by indiscriminate mortar fire, with up to forty others injured.

“This is completely unacceptable and we condemn these actions in the strongest terms,” said Ms Lise Grande, the UN Humanitarian Coordinator for Iraq.

The civilians and aid workers were killed in the neighbourhood of Kokajli that was captured by the Iraqi forces in November.

“People waiting for aid are already vulnerable and need help. They should be protected, not attacked,” said Ms Grande. “All parties to the conflict have an obligation to uphold international humanitarian law and ensure that civilians survive and receive the assistance they need.”

Meanwhile, according to the Iraqi military, at least 23 people were killed and around 40 others injured in ISIS-led car bomb attacks in Mosul. After losing major parts of eastern Mosul to the Iraqi forces, Islamic State’s militants on Thursday targeted the area with car bomb attacks, causing casualties among civilians.

ISIS hit the Kokajli district east of Mosul city with three car bomb attacks. Kokajli was one of the first districts of eastern Mosul to be recaptured by the Iraqi forces in the Mosul operation.

“The killing of civilians and aid workers violates every humanitarian principle. Our deepest condolences go to the families of the victims and our brave colleagues and we call on authorities to ensure the perpetrators are brought to justice and account,” said Ms Grande.

Over 107,000 people are currently displaced as a result of fighting between Iraqi forces and ISIS in and around Mosul city. In a worst case scenario, as many as one million people may be forced to flee the city. However, the scenario predicted by NGOs has not came true due to the fact that the Iraqi government demanded civilians to stay in their homes instead of being displaced.

The majority of displaced families are being sheltered in emergency sites and with host communities.

“Humanitarian agencies and organizations are providing life-saving assistance to people in need in all accessible areas, including neighbourhoods in eastern Mosul city. To date, more than 356,000 people impacted by the Mosul military campaign have received humanitarian aid,” the UN said.

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