Monday 19 March 2018

Isis kills 40 civilians and strings up bodies from poles in Mosul

Displaced Iraqis flee from their homes at Shahrezad village east of Mosul. Photo: Reuters
Displaced Iraqis flee from their homes at Shahrezad village east of Mosul. Photo: Reuters

Alan Martin

At least 40 civilians have been shot dead and their bodies hung from electricity poles in the Isis-controlled city of Mosul, according to the UN.

The latest crackdown on residents suspected of treason against Isis' so-called caliphate was reported by the UN's Human Rights Commissioner, citing reliable sources within the city.

Another man was reportedly executed in a public square for ignoring Isis' new ban on mobile phones.

The reports are the latest examples of how Isis is growing ever more ruthless in its attempts to suppress signs of rebellion as Iraqi coalition forces advance on Mosul to end the group's two-year occupation of the city.

The UN said that the recent killings were preceded by hastily-organised kangaroo courts in which the defendants were forced to don orange jumpsuits with signs reading "traitors and agents of the ISF" (Iraqi Security Forces) before being sentenced to death for "treason and collaboration". One source cited escaped death by playing dead during one of the mass shootings.

Around 20 more people were also shot dead on Wednesday at Ghabat in the north of the city for supposedly leaking intelligence information to outside sources.

The executions are the latest in a string of atrocities reported by freed civilians.

"The devil himself would be astounded by [Isis'] methods of torture. It is beyond the imagination," said Ahmed, a former English teacher from the town of Hammam al-Alil, south of Mosul, which was liberated last week. He recalled listening to the cries of agony coming from a detention centre across the street from his home as Isis fighters dragged civilians outside to be executed in the middle of the night.

Since the offensive began four weeks ago there have been multiple reports from the UN and human rights groups of civilians being executed for trying to flee fighting or for suspected links to the Iraqi police. Their bodies have either been buried in shallow graves or thrown into the Tigris River.

Meanwhile, Iraqi troops are inching ahead in their battle to retake Mosul from Isis, as the UN revealed fresh evidence the extremists have used chemical weapons.

Exchanging small arms and mortar fire with Isis positions, the special forces have entered the Qadisiya neighbourhood, advancing slowly to avoid killing civilians and trying to avoid being surprised by suicide car bombers, said Brigadier General Haider Fadhil.

Irish Independent

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