More than 300 civilians have been killed by US-led air strikes, ISIS bombs and snipers, shelling and fighting in the advance on western Mosul, the UN has said.
The deadliest single incident reported so far was in the al-Jadida district, where up to 240 civilians were killed in suspected bombing by US-led coalition, The Independent reported.
Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, condemned the “massive loss of civilian lives” caused by both US-led forces and ISIS.
“The conduct of air strikes on Isis locations in such an environment, particularly given the clear indications that Isis is using large numbers of civilians as human shields at such locations, may potentially have a lethal and disproportionate impact on civilians,” he said.
He condemned Isis’ “cowardly and disgraceful” use of human shields and said that it is a war crime under international law.
According to information verified by the UN Human Rights Office and the UN Assistance Mission in Iraq, at least 307 civilians were killed and another 273 wounded between 17 February and 22 March.