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'Human catastrophe' unfolding in Fallujah, aid agency warns

A "human catastrophe" is unfolding in Fallujah as Iraqi forces continue their fight against IS, aid agencies have warned.

It is estimated that 50,000 civilians are still inside the Iraqi city and humanitarian groups have renewed calls on both sides to open up safe corridors for non-combatants to flee.

The UN have reported people starving to death in the city and being killed for refusing to fight for terror groups.

There are also reports IS were using hundreds of families as human shields during the assault.

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IS 'use hundreds of families as human shields' in Fallujah

Iraqi security forces gather near Fallujah. Credit: Reuters

So-called Islamic State militants have been using "several hundred families" as human shields during the Iraqi army's assault on Fallujah, according to reports received by the United Nations refugee agency.

Around 3,700 people, including 624 families, have fled the city over the past week since the offensive to retake it from IS began.

"We have reports of casualities among people in the city centre in Fallujah due to heavy shelling, including seven members of one family on May 28," UNHCR spokesman William Spindler said.

"There are also reports of several hundred families being used as human shields by ISIL, in the centre of Falluja."

Around 1,300 people are staying in the al-Iraq camp in the Ameriyat al –Falluja district. The UNHCR understands some 500 men and boys aged over 12 are held for security screening.

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