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Middle East

'Islamic State' executes dozens, stockpiles chemicals in Mosul, says UN

The militant group has executed scores of civilians and deserters in and around Mosul, the UN said. Evidence has emerged of "large quantities" of ammonia and sulfur being stockpiled in civilian areas of Mosul.

Iraqi soldier on the outskirts of Mosul

Iraqi security forces have recaptured the town of Hammam al-Alil, the site of a mass grave in southern Mosul

The so-called "Islamic State" (IS) militant group executed dozens more people in and around Mosul this week, UN human rights spokeswoman Ravina Shamdasani said on Friday.

A mass grave containing more than 100 decapitated bodies discovered last week in the town of Hammam al-Alil was only one of several locations that the militant group used as its "killing grounds," Shamdasni said.

She noted that evidence of the "Islamic State's" uses of chemical weapons is beginning to surface, including reports of stockpiles in and around Mosul.

"In Mosul, reports indicate that large quantities of ammonia and sulfur have been stockpiled by ISIL and there are reports that these chemicals are being placed in the same locations as civilians," the UN spokeswoman said, referring to the organization under another name.

'Intolerable'

Iraqi forces, backed by a US-led coalition, Kurdish peshmerga and Shiite militias, launched a campaign to liberate the country's third-largest city from the militant group's control.

Nearly 50,000 people have fled the city since the campaign began in October, according to UN figures.

The "Islamic State" rose to notoriety in 2013, when it occupied large swathes of territory in Iraq and Syria, culminating in its conquest of Mosul when Iraqi soldiers fled the city.

Meanwhile, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights chief Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein called for "immediate action" from the government to protect civilians in the warzone.

"The extent of civilian suffering in Mosul and other ISIL-occupied areas in Iraq is numbing and intolerable," he said in a statement.

Watch video 00:41

Fleeing Mosul: "Meet me at Khazer refugee camp"

ls/kl (AP, Reuters)

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