UN office: Reports show IS using chemical weapons in Mosul

An Iraqi girl who was displaced by fighting

Lynn Maalouf, deputy director for research at Amnesty International's Beirut office, has called on Iraqi authorities to arrest those responsible for the unlawful torture.

The U.N. says ISIL has brought another 1,500 people from a nearby town into Mosul to act as human shields and also abducted almost 300 former members of the Iraqi security services.

Security forces and army infantry divisions, backed by a US -led air force, are preparing to move on southern and northern districts of Mosul in coming days, to step up pressure on the militants.

Five crucified bodies were seen hanging from traffic signals and electricity poles at a road junction in east Mosul, Iraq, on Tuesday, indicating that the Islamic State was still in charge in the city after their disappearance in the last 10 days.

Food, water and medicine have been distributed to more than 41,000 displaced people and vulnerable residents who have fled the fighting, the United Nations reported.

But it is just one of a number of treasured heritage sites that are threatened with further damage by the offensive that the government launched on October 17 to retake Mosul, the militants' last major stronghold in Iraq.

Around 35,000 people have been displaced by the operation to liberate Mosul and their numbers are expected to increase although relief and aid organizations are already struggling to provide the necessities to those sheltered in camps.

And the body of a sixth man, who had defied ISIL's attempt to remove civilians for use as human shields and stayed in the Shura area, was found with bullet wounds to the chest and chin after government forces moved in, according to the UK-based rights group.

Nimrud was bulldozed past year as part of Daesh's campaign to destroy symbols they considered idolatrous, said the Iraqi government.

Troops from the Ninth Armoured Division took the village of Abbas Rajab, four km east of Nimrud, and raised the Iraqi flag. Monday's push appears to be the most serious yet to drive IS from the area, which is about 13 kilometers (8 miles) northeast of Mosul.

They have been hit by waves of attacks by Isis units, including snipers, suicide bombers, assault fighters and mortar teams, who have used a network of tunnels under the city and civilian cover in the narrow streets to wear them down in urban warfare. The day before the operation, a U.N. Refugee Agency said that it had received reports that ISIS was forcing residents to surrender boys aged 9 and older to fight for the jihadist group. "We can only speculate how they intend to use this", she said, "We are simply raising the alarm that this is happening, that this is being stockpiled". The bombings are believed to have been carried out by IS, which has frequently targeted Iraq's security forces and Shiite majority.

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