ISIS Reportedly Committing Massacres Around Mosul, UN Says

The militant group reportedly killed 50 former police officers while Iraqi security forces discovered the bodies of 70 civilians, the UN said, citing preliminary information from sources near Mosul.

Iraqi families who were displaced by the ongoing operation to retake Mosul from ISIS are seen gathering in an area near Qayyarah, Iraq, October 24, 2016.
Bulent Kilic, AFP

ISIS fighters have reportedly massacred scores of people around its Iraqi stronghold of Mosul in the past week, UN human rights spokesman Rupert Colville said on Tuesday, citing preliminary information from sources in the area.

On Sunday, ISIS reportedly killed 50 former police officers being held in a building outside Mosul, and last Thursday Iraqi security forces discovered the bodies of 70 civilians in houses in Tuloul Naser village south of Mosul, Colville said.

"The bodies had bullet wounds, but it is not known for sure at this point who was responsible for the killings," he said.

In Safina village, about 45 kilometers (30 miles) south of Mosul, 15 civilians were killed and their bodies thrown into the river in an attempt to spread fear, and six men, apparently relatives of a tribal leader fighting against ISIS, were tied to a vehicle and dragged around the village.

"The six men were also allegedly beaten with sticks and gun butts. It is not clear what happened to them subsequently," he said.

ISIS fighters had also reportedly shot dead three women and three girls and wounded four other children, allegedly because they were trailing 100 meters (330 feet) behind during a forced relocation from Rufeila village.

"The victims were lagging behind because one of the children had a disability. She was apparently among those shot and killed," Colville said.

The sources of the information included civilians and established sources in northern Iraq that the UN had used in the past.

"It’s a mix of sources, and obviously some of them we can’t even come close to identifying, or even the locations, for protection reasons, particularly for those in areas that are still held by ISIL, and in other cases there’s a major battle (going on)," Coville said, using a different acronym for ISIS.

Some reports came from Iraqi government sources but also needed verification, he said.