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UN: IS Militants Abducted Hundreds Of Ex-Iraqi Soldiers Near Mosul

A member of the Iraqi forces checks a mass grave discovered in the Hammam al-Alil area on November 7.

The United Nations says Islamic State (IS) militants have abducted nearly 300 former Iraqi soldiers near Mosul, which government forces are battling to retake from the extremists.

The UN also said IS militants forced around 1,500 families from the town of Hammam al-Alil to Mosul.

"People forcibly moved or abducted, it appears, are either intended to be used as human shields or -- depending on their perceived affiliations -- killed," Ravina Shamdasani, spokeswoman for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, told a UN briefing in Geneva on November 8.

About 100 of the former Iraqi soldiers were abducted on November 3 from Mawali village, which is about 20 kilometers west of Mosul. A further 195 were abducted between November 1-4 from villages in the Tal Afar district.

Shamdasani said the fate of the civilians was "unknown."

Based on reporting by Reuters and dpa