Extremists of the Islamic State (ISIS) on Thursday opened fire on civilians fleeing the war-torn city of Mosul in northwestern Iraq.
At least nine civilians were killed and dozens injured after ISIS militants targeted them with mortar shells.
“Hundreds of people were trying to escape the ISIS-held Zanjili neighbourhood in Mosul, when the militants attacked them with mortar fire,” local media activist Abdullah al-Malla told ARA News.
“So far nine civilians lost their lives, including three children,” the source reported, adding that more than 30 others were injured in the ISIS shelling.
“Some of the wounded are in critical condition amidst lack of medical care,” al-Malla said.
Most of those who tried to flee the Zanjili neighbourhood on Thursday were forced to return to the ISIS-held area due to the heavy shelling by the jihadists.
ISIS has been using civilians as human shields in Western Mosul, in a bid to impede the US-backed Iraqi troops’s progress.
Iraqi forces recaptured eastern Mosul in January, and launched a new push to retake the remaining districts of Iraq’s second largest city.
Over 200,000 civilians remain trapped in ISIS-held parts of Mosul.
According to the United Nations, the population in ISIS-held enclave live in harrowing conditions, “running low on food, water and medicine, and with limited access to hospitals.”
Reporting by: Eyaz Ciziri | Source: ARA News
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