The United Nations (UN) said today that it suspects that the Islamic State (ISIS) may be holding around 1 lakh Iraqi civilians as hostages and using them as human shield. It may be recalled that the Iraqi coalition forces are currently trying to retake Mosul from ISIS. Since ISIS has suffered serious setbacks in their fight to retain Mosul, it is likely that they are now holding hostages and using them as human shield. The ISIS is a jihadist group and it had taken Mosul in 2014 and established its brutal rule on the inhabitants of the city. The UN refugee agency’s representative in Iraq Bruno Geddo said that ISIS may be forcing people from other parts of the city to come to the Old City, where it can use them as human shields.
The UN is also concerned about the living conditions of these hostages since there is very little food, water or electricity in the Old City of Mosul. The UN suspects that the situation may be deteriorating for these hostages with every passing day. There are also reports that ISIS has positioned snipers at strategic points to stop people from getting out of the Old City. People who have tried to step out have been shot by the ISIS snipers. Moreover, the ones who did manage to get out were deeply traumatized.