The United Nations warned that the number of people killed after Sunni Islamist militants overran the Iraqi city of Mosul earlier this week may run into the hundreds, Reuters reported U.N. human rights spokesman Rupert Colville as saying on Friday.
Colville also said his office reported that the killings included the execution of 17 civilians working for the police and a court employee in central Mosul.
Four women had killed themselves after being raped, 16 Georgians had been kidnapped and prisoners released by the militants had been looking to exact revenge on those responsible for their incarceration, he said.
“We’ve also had reports suggesting that the government forces have also committed excesses, in particular the shelling of civilian areas on 6 and 8 June,” he said. “There are claims that up to 30 civilians may have been killed.”
“The High Commissioner Navi Pillay is expressing extreme alarm at the dramatic deterioration of the situation in Iraq amid reports of summary executions and extrajudicial killings and the massive displacement of an additional half a million people as [militants] overran the succession of major towns and cities this week,” he told reporters.
The U.N. also reported that the refugee population has increased because of Iraq’s unrest.
The U.N. refugee agency said the refugee population has increased by almost 800,000 this year as the government struggles to repel the militants, the Associated Press reported.
The agency said 300,000 people fled for safety this week in Arbil and Duhok as Islamist militants seized control of large areas in northern Iraq.
Agency spokesman Adrian Edwards told reporters Friday in Geneva that many of the refugees are arriving with little more than the clothes they wear and have no money and no planned destination.
Last week, the agency reported that nearly 480,000 people had been driven from their homes by fighting since January between government forces and rebels in western Iraq’s Anbar province.
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