ISIL fighters have reportedly shot and killed scores of civilians in Mosul in recent days, according to the UN, which has also confirmed the discovery of a mass grave in the nearby town of Hammam al-Alil in which more than 100 bodies were found.
In a brief published on Friday detailing a series of ISIL executions and abuses, the UN’s human rights office said that 40 people were killed by the armed group on Tuesday for “treason and collaboration” with Iraqi forces and their allies closing in on the city during a major military push.
Dressed in orange jumpsuits, the bodies of the victims were hung from electrical poles in several areas around Mosul, the UN said
On Wednesday evening, ISIL reportedly shot to death a further 20 civilians in the Ghabat military base in northern Mosul, also on charges of leaking information.
“Their bodies were also hung at various intersections in Mosul, with notes stating: ‘Decision of execution’ and ‘used cell phones to leak information to the Iraqi Security Forces (ISF)’,” the UN said.
The rights office also said the mass grave in Hammam al-Alil, south of Mosul, was just one of several ISIL killing grounds.
The site was discovered on Monday and contained the bodies of at least 100 people, including former ISF officers and ISIL detainees, as well as people killed for initiating anti-ISIL attacks since the beginning of the Mosul operation four weeks ago
“I’ve been in Erbil since the beginning of this military operation to retake the city of Mosul and we have documented hundreds of executions by ISIL,” Belkis Wille, a spokeswoman for Human Rights Watch (HRW), told Al Jazeera from Erbil.
“We are not surprised, unfortunately, to see mass graves like this one [in Hammam al-Alil]; it definitely is not the only one.”
Chemical weapons, human shields
The human rights body said they had received reports of ISIL stockpiling large amounts of chemicals in civilian areas in order to be used as weapons