The U.N. human rights office said on Tuesday it had preliminary reports about scores of killings by Islamic State group (IS) around Mosul in the past week, as well as new information reinforcing the belief that fighters were holding people as human shields.
U.N. human rights spokesman Rupert Colville told a regular U.N. briefing in Geneva the bodies of 70 civilians with bullet wounds had been discovered by Iraqi security forces in Tuloul Naser village on Oct. 20 and 50 former police officers being held outside Mosul city were reportedly killed on Sunday.
He said the reports, from a variety of sources used in the past, were hard to verify, so they should be treated as preliminary and not definitive.
In Safina village, about 45 km (30 miles) south of Mosul, 15 civilians were killed and their bodies thrown into the river in an attempt to spread terror, and six men, apparently relatives of a tribal leader fighting against IS, were tied to a vehicle and dragged around the village.
He said there were reports IS fighters had also shot dead three women and three girls and wounded four other children, because they were trailing during a forced relocation, due to one of the children having a disability.