Even as the Iraqi Army takes its offensive forward, fears grow that residents of besieged town Fallujah are committing suicide and leaving their children to die as they are unable to feed them, or are being used as human shields. Almost 50,000 people are believed to be still trapped in the town that was once an ISIS stronghold, with reports saying some mothers are even killing their children.
Barely teenage boys are also reportedly being forced to fight against the Iraqi forces by ISIS. Of the 50,000 people in the town, 20,000 are children, the Australian reported.
Residents who fled the town told UN's refugee agency they saw mothers killing their children. They also said at least three people committed suicide in the last two months.
"Families started to suffer when ISIS closed the exit routes from the city. Families started suffering from psychologÂical problems and some of them committed suicide," a woman named Alahin told UN workers in a refugee camp, according to the Australian.
"Some of them set fire to themselves. I swear to God some of them drowned their children. Some of them threw their kids on to the streets and left them there on their own because they didn't have any food," she added.
Caroline Gluck, an employee of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees in Baghdad, said mothers unable to feed children are abandoning them.
The town was besieged more than two years ago, in January 2014.
Around 3,700 people have escaped the town in the past week, the UN said.
With Iraqi troops going forward with its operation of freeing the town, UNICEF have urged it to first take care of the children in the town, which is running out of food and medicine quickly.