(The Independent newspaper) Isis militants have posed as Iraqi army troops and killed at least 15 civilians who welcomed them into central Mosul, Iraqi officials have said.
Men, women and children trapped in one of the last Isis-held areas of the city greeted the men driving black cars and wearing police and security forces uniforms, a Joint Operations Command (JOC) and local official in Baghdad told media on Tuesday.
After tricking residents into showing their support, encouraging singing and chanting, the disguised Isis fighters then shot them “to make it clear the area was still under enemy control,” the JOC said.
Hossameddin al-Abbar, a member of Nineveh’s provincial council, told the AFP that at least 15 civilians were arbitrarily ‘executed’ for showing disloyalty to Isis, and many more were arrested.
Isis is clinging on to a tiny fraction of Mosul – once home to 1.5million people – after a gruelling street-by-street US-backed campaign to clear militants from the city which began October last year.
The intense fighting has included Isis tactics such as suicide car bombings and the use of civilians as human shields at strategic locations. Snipers, booby-trapped roads and bridges and an extensive tunnel network have also slowed the operation to drive the jihadis from what was once the largest settlement under their control