Hundreds of civilians are being killed and injured as fighting intensifies in Mosul's old city

News and Press Release
Originally published
View original

(Baghdad, 24 June 2017) – The United Nations strongly condemns recent incidents resulting in the terrible loss of civilian life including the 23 June attacks in eastern Mosul and in Mushahada in the old city of Mosul where as many as 12 civilians were killed and possibly hundreds injured.

“Killing and wounding civilians violates every humanitarian principle and is contrary in every way to international humanitarian law,” said Lise Grande, Humanitarian Coordinator for Iraq.

“We are shocked and deeply saddened by the tragic loss of life that has occurred during the fighting in Mosul and we extend our heartfelt condolences to the families of all the victims,” said Ms. Grande, the Humanitarian Coordinator for Iraq.

“Fighting is very intense in the old city and civilians are at extreme, almost unimaginable risk. There are reports that thousands, maybe even tens of thousands, of people are being held as human shields. Hundreds of civilians, including children, are being shot. Humanitarian partners are doing everything we can at trauma points near the front-line to stabilize patients, and then in field hospitals where people are receiving life-saving support.”

"We have said this before, and are saying it now, as strongly as we can. Parties to this conflict are obliged under international humanitarian law to protect and assist civilians. Nothing is more important—nothing.”

Nearly 900,000 civilians have fled Mosul since fighting began in October 2016; 705,000 of whom have fled from western Mosul. Half of the displaced families have sought safety in 19 priority camps and emergency sites, others are living with families and in host communities.

The humanitarian operation in support of Mosul is one of the largest and most complex in the region. More than 1,700,000 people have received front-line emergency support including food, water and hygiene items since mid-October; 1,664,000 people have benefitted from water and sanitation and more than 14,000 injured people have been treated at trauma stabilization points ringing the city.

"We estimate that 100,000 to 150,000 civilians are still trapped inside the old city. The world has to know that what they are facing is terrifying,” said Ms. Grande.

The UN and partners are requesting US$985 million through the 2017 Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP) for Iraq. To date, US$414 million has been received. Additional financial contributions are urgently required to sustain the response effort.

For further information, please contact: Órla Fagan, Head of Communications and Reporting,
UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, Iraq on (

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit