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Islamic State kills dozens of civilians trying to flee Mosul

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IS downs Iraqi helicopter in Mosul

The Kurdistan Region Security Council also said the terrorists killed about 140 people on Monday and Tuesday.

The militants are dug in surrounded by civilians, effectively using them as human shields and taking advantage of the narrow streets of the Old City that restrict the movements of the Iraqi forces and limit the use of artillery and air power.

He said: "Their appearance was shocking".

Reuters reported that one eyewitness had seen the body of his relative strung up from an electricity pole along with three other men who had attempted to escape IS-held areas.

As it loses territory, IS has told the local population that the approaching forces will kill or imprison them in an attempt to deter people fleeing.

According to the Iraqi forces, two thirds of the western part of Mosul have been recaptured.

Civilians who were injured during the ongoing conflict between government forces and Islamic State (IS) group jihadists in Mosul are treated by medics at a trauma field hospital on March 29, 2017, which was recently opened under the collaboration of the Federal Ministry of Health, Ninewa Department of Health and the World Health Organization (WHO) in Athbah in western Mosul. The operation to retake Mosul from IS started last October.

A woman who successfully managed to flee said she escaped while militants were distracted checking her bag for valuables.

"I fear those [families] who stayed in Daesh's grip met a awful fate", she said, calling ISIL by its Arab name.

Since February 19, Iraqi government troops and fighters from Popular Mobilization Units - commonly known by the Arabic name Hashd al-Sha'abi - have been involved in a new offensive to liberate the western half of the city.

U.S. military sources say that IS is using the civilian population as human shields in order to maximize casualties, giving the militants a propaganda boost.

A woman from the Yarmouk district said she had narrowly escaped death along with her husband and children after ISIL caught them trying to flee among a group of about 30 people. The UN said some 400,000 still remain trapped in the Old City by the terrorists.

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