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ICC Note: As a coalition of forces began its advance on Mosul on Monday, UN human rights office says that ISIS forced 200 families from a neighboring town into the city. The UN worries these families and others will be used as human shields in the forthcoming battle. Another 350 families were moved into the city from Njafia as well. ISIS may opt to kill these civilians and others as opposed to seeing them liberated.

10/21/2016 Iraq (BBC): At least 200 Iraqi families have been made to leave their homes for Mosul by Islamic State (IS) fighters and could be used as human shields, the UN warns.

A coalition of forces began an advance on the IS-held city, the second largest in Iraq, on Monday.

The UN human rights office says IS made the 200 families walk to Mosul from a nearby village on the same day.

The UN also said it was investigating reports 40 people had been shot dead by IS fighters in one village near Mosul.

The news came as IS fighters launched an attack on Kirkuk, 170km (105 miles) south-east of Mosul, killing 19 people, on Friday.

Zeid Raad Al Hussein, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, said there was “a grave danger that ISIL fighters will not only use such vulnerable people as human shields but may opt to kill them rather than see them liberated,” using an acronym for IS.

As well as the 200 families made to walk from the village of Samalia to Mosul, another 350 families moved from another village, Najafia, into the city, the UN says.

The organisation said this appeared to show IS was not allowing families to flee for territory held by the Iraqi army outside Mosul, and instead was making them move into the city.

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