Islamic State militants have killed dozens of Iraqis trying to escape the western part of the city of Mosul during the past week, according to residents and officials.
Many Iraqis have been trying to flee to areas held by Iraqi forces as the battle between US-backed troops and the extremist militia continues in Iraq’s second-largest city.
Residents in some parts of western Mosul told dpa on Saturday that militants have killed at least 50 people and left their bodies in the streets of residential areas.
Thousands of families have attempted to escape the Islamic State-held areas at night, but some are captured and killed by the group, residents added.
On Friday, the Kurdistan Regional Government's Security Council said on its Twitter account that the militia killed up to 140 people seeking to reach areas controlled by Iraqi forces.
The council, responsible for security in the semi-autonomous region and coordinating coalition airstrikes against Islamic State, added that "some bodies were later hung on electrical poles in Eslah Zirai and Tanak neighbourhoods, others were taken to nearby frontlines."
Families have been trying to escape after a recent spike in civilian deaths amid operations to liberate the northern city. They also suffer from lack of basic goods to survive.
In March, the United Nations said a large number of Iraqis have been killed in the battle for Mosul as Islamic State fighters increasingly use civilians as human shields against air attacks.
US-backed government forces began an offensive to dislodge Islamic State from the western side of the city on February 19.
The eastern section of Mosul was retaken from the al-Qaeda splinter group about a month earlier.
Islamic State took control of Mosul in 2014.
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