Bashiqa is one of several towns recaptured as Iraqi forces continue their offensive on Mosul Image Credit: Reuters

Geneva: Daesh fighters have executed scores more people around Mosul this week and are reportedly stockpiling ammonia and sulphur in civilian areas, possibly for use as chemical weapons, UN human rights spokeswoman Ravina Shamdasani said on Friday.

The terror group’s fighters reportedly shot dead more than 60 people this week and hung some of their bodies from poles after alleging they had collaborated with Iraqi troops, the United Nations human rights office said Friday.

The UN body has raised alarm over hundreds of grotesque atrocities allegedly committed by Daesh as Iraqi forces have pushed their nearly month-long offensive to retake Mosul, the last terrorist bastion in Iraq.

“On Tuesday, [Daesh] reportedly shot and killed 40 civilians in Mosul city after accusing them of ‘treason and collaboration’ with the Iraqi Security Forces [ISF],” rights office spokeswoman Ravina Shamdasani said in a statement.

Bodies on electrical poles

“The victims were dressed in orange clothes marked in red with the words: ‘traitors and agents of the ISF’. Their bodies were then hung on electrical poles in several areas in Mosul city,” she added.

The UN body cited new details as proof that Daesh is using chemical weapons.

Amid concerns about Daesh’ use of human shields in the city, Shamdasani said four people died from inhaling fumes after Daesh shelled and set fires to the Al Mishrag Sulfur Gas Factory in Mosul on October 23.

She said reports indicated Daesh has stockpiled “large quantities” of ammonia and sulfur that have been placed in the same areas as civilians.

She said international law requires protection of civilians near such chemicals.

Abu Saif, a resident of eastern Mosul, said by telephone that he had seen bodies strung up in the city along with signs that read “agent” and “traitor”.

He did not have an exact count of the total number of bodies, but said he saw between 30 and 40.

“The Daesh organisation gathered people in some of the streets of Mosul and publicly executed a number of people of various ages, some of them by gunfire and others by beheading,” he said.

According to the UN, a 27-year-old man was reportedly killed in public in central Mosul Tuesday for using a mobile phone, which Daesh has banned in areas it controls.

And on Wednesday, Daesh slaughtered another 20 people at the Ghabat Military Base in northern Mosul after accusing them of “leaking information,” the UN statement said.

“Their bodies were also hung at various intersections in Mosul, with notes stating: ‘decision of execution’ and ‘used cellphones to leak information to the ISF’”, the statement added.

All of the killings apparently followed rulings by the so-called “courts” established by Daesh.

Conclusively verifying the details of massacres allegedly perpetrated by the terrorists since the US-backed Mosul offensive began, has been a challenge for UN investigators amid the chaos of the fighting and the threat of reprisals against sources.

Shamdasani said on Friday that one recent source was a man who pretended to be dead during a massacre and contacted UN staffers after escaping. She did not specify which incident the man had survived.