The UN refugee agency says it has received reports that the Islamic State may have captured up to 3,000 Iraqis who were fleeing violence and that 12 of them may have been killed, reports AP. In a report published Thursday, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees said the internally displaced people from villages in Hawiga district had been trying to flee to the northern Iraqi city of Kirkuk when they were captured by ISIS. The report has not been confirmed.
ISIS fighters have repeatedly prevented civilians from fleeing territory that the militant group holds, using them as human shields against airstrikes. Iraqi government ground forces still rely heavily on US-led coalition airstrikes in the fight against the group. When ISIS first overran much of north and western Iraq in 2014, the extremists took thousands of women and children hostage for use as slaves or child soldiers. (Read more Islamic State stories.)