Sixteen civilian bodies were found in the Old City of Mosul amid a major offensive to oust ISIL militants from the northern Iraqi city, according to a local police officer.
“The bodies had gunshot wounds,” Rapid Response Forces officer, lieutenant Karim al-Nuaimi, said on Sunday. He said the civilians were likely killed after attempting to flee ISIL-held areas in western Mosul.
In a related development, ISIL militants shot dead two civilians while trying to flee Bab Laksh area in western Mosul to government-held areas in the city, military officer Khalid Ali said.
In February, Iraqi ground forces — backed by U.S.-led coalition air power — began fresh operations aimed at ousting ISIL militants from western Mosul, the terrorist group’s last bastion in northern Iraq.
The offensive is part of a wider campaign launched last October to retake the entire city, which ISIL overran in mid-2014.—Agencies