WAR

UN: Up to 150,000 Civilians Trapped in Mosul

As many as 150,000 civilians remain trapped in parts of Mosul controlled by the so-called Islamic State, which wants to keep them for use as human shields, the United Nations’ humanitarian chief has warned. The battle for Mosul has been ongoing since October, though ISIS fighters have been largely edged out and forced into pockets in and around the Old City. Lise Grande, the UN humanitarian chief in Iraq, said Friday that between 120,000 and 150,000 civilians are struggling to escape the neighborhood, with ISIS snipers shooting dead “anyone who’s trying to escape.” “The reason we know that they're being shot at by snipers and not crossfire is because they're being shot in the back,” Grande said. Noting that “conditions in the Old City are desperate,” Grande warned that the trapped civilians have very little food and no clean water.