According to Reuters media agency, ISIL insurgents are reported to be holding several hundred families as “human shields” in the Iraqi city of Fallujah while government forces close in, the United Nations refugee agency said on Tuesday, citing witness accounts.
The media agency added that Some 3,700 people have fled Falluja, west of Baghdad, over the past week since the Iraqi army began its offensive on the city controlled by militant forces, it said.
“UNHCR has received reports of casualties among civilians in the city center of Fallujah due to heavy shelling, including 7 members of one family on the 28th of May (Saturday),” UNHCR spokesman William Spindler told a news briefing.
“There are also reports of several hundred families being used as human shields by ISIL in the center of Fallujah.”
The accounts come from displaced people who have spoken to UNHCR field staff, spokeswoman Ariane Rummery said.