Nearly 19,000 Iraqi civilians killed in two years: UN

Published January 19th, 2016 - 02:00 GMT

A UN report released Tuesday says that at least 18,802 civilians were killed in Iraq between Jan. 2014 and Oct. 2015 as Iraqi forces battled the Daesh militant insurgency, Associated Press reported.

The report documented a wide range of human rights abuses, including the abduction and conscription of some 3,500 slaves, mostly from ethnic and religious minorities.

Another 800 to 900 children were abducted from Mosul for indoctrination into Daesh's military and religious views. A number of child soldiers were killed by the militants as they attempted to flee fighting.

The UN report described the death toll - with executions often grotesque and public - "staggering," adding such acts are "systematic and widespread... abuses of international human rights law and humanitarian law."

But UN human rights cheif Zeid Raad al-Hussein said the actual civilian casualty figures may be much higher than the numbers indicated in the report.

"Even the obscene casualty figures fail to accurately reflect exactly how terribly civilians are suffering in Iraq," al-Hussein said in a statement.

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