Islamic State takes 550 families to be human shields in Mosul: UN
An image grab taken from a video released on March 17, 2014 by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant's al-Furqan Media allegedly shows ISIL fighters raising their weapons with the Jihadist flag at an undisclosed location (AFP Photo)

Islamic State militants have taken 550 families from villages around Mosul and are holding them close to Islamic State locations in the Iraqi city, probably as human shields, a spokeswoman for the U.N. human rights office said on Friday.


U.N. spokeswoman Ravina Shamdasani, citing "corroborated information" from the area, said the office was also investigating reports that Islamic State militants had killed 40 civilians in one village. (Reporting by Tom Miles; Editing by Catherine Evans)