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ERBIL – The extremist group of Islamic State (ISIS) has executed an entire family for trying to escape a district under ISIS control west of the oil rich city of Kirkuk in northern Iraq, local sources reported on Wednesday.
ISIS has recently banned civilians from leaving the areas under its control in a bid to use them as human shields, according to eyewitnesses.
Speaking to ARA News in Kirkuk, media activist Yilmaz Mahmoud said that ISIS burned five members of one family, including two children, to death in the Riyadh district west of Kirkuk, after trying to escape from the areas under the group’s control.
“ISIS has brutally committed this crime in order to terrorize the remaining civilians living in the region [controlled by ISIS],” Mahmoud said.
Rights activists reported fears among civilians of being used by ISIS as human shields in areas under the group’s control.
“These barbaric men [ISIS jihadis] have engaged in the most heinous crimes in Syria and Iraq in plain view of the international community,” Mahmoud told ARA News.
These executions come amid ISIS remarkable decline in Iraq as the battle for Mosul is approaching, according to activists.
Last month, the hardline group banned dozens of Christian families from leaving Syria’s northeastern city of Raqqa, especially after the U.S.-led coalition forces intensified their airstrikes on the group’s headquarters in the region, according to local sources.
This is both the first time for the extremist group to burn civilians to death. In February 2015, ISIS burned 45 people to death in the vicinity of the Ain al-Assad military base in the sub-district of Baghdadi in al-Anbar province, in western Iraq, according to local sources.
Reporting by: Sozbin Celeng
Source: ARA News