Some 100,000 children may be trapped in Mosul and the Islamic State group may be trying to use them as human shields, according to the United Nations' children's fund.
"We are receiving alarming reports of civilians including several children being killed in west Mosul. Some were reportedly killed as they desperately tried to flee the fighting which is intensifying by the hour," UNICEF's representative in Iraq, Peter Hawkins, said in a statement this week.
"Children's lives are on the line. Children are being killed, injured and use:d as human shields. Children are experiencing and witnessing terrible violence that no human being should ever witness. In some cases, they have been forced to participate in the fighting and violence."
Coalition troops are trying to retake the city from ISIS control, but the fighting has put many civilians in harm's way.
"As the fighting continues, UNICEF calls on all parties in west Mosul to protect children and keep them out of harm's way at all times, in line with their obligations under humanitarian law," Hawkins added.
Meanwhile, CNN says Mosul is a "hell we cannot even begin to imagine."
"There is no past blueprint for this war, no one has fought an enemy like ISIS holding civilians hostage in this type of a dense urban battlefield. There are no words to comfort those who survive," CNN reported.
Photo: World Watch Monitor
Publication date: June 7, 2017