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Thousands of people being used as 'human shields' in Mosul

For three months, as Islamic State militants ranged across farms and villages south of Mosul, they took Sayid Naheer, his wife and eight children with them. The family was among tens of thousands of people that the U.N. says have been rounded up to be used as human shields.

Their forced march covered more than 12 miles (20 kilometres), stopping in villages for days or weeks. When Naheer's family finally escaped this week after an air raid and made it to a government checkpoint near the front lines, the children's faces were caked with dust and their feet had been rubbed raw by their plastic sandals.

The U.N. human rights office said Friday that the tens of thousands of civilians were in the town of Hamam al-Alil, south of Mosul, doubling its population to an estimated 60,000.

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