Children as young as 10 years old brainwashed by the Islamic State terror group have been executing civilians near the Iraqi city of Mosul, according to reports.
The New York Times reports that videos posted online last week show four children, aged between 10 to 14, shooting four civilians accused of disloyalty to IS near the Tigris River. The children were comprised of two Iraqis, one Russian and one from Uzbekistan.
Ravina Shamdasani, a spokeswoman for the United Nations human rights office in Geneva, said that it's not known when precisely the executions took place, but they are believed to be recent, as IS has been fighting hard to keep control of Mosul, which is the terror group's last stronghold in Iraq.
"They are showing they are still in business," Shamdasani said of IS.
Several other massacres of civilians in Mosul have also been reported in recent weeks, as U.S.-backed coalition forces have made gains in their mission to drive out the radicals.
"In one massacre, militants were said to have summarily shot 40 civilians in Mosul, dressing them in orange clothes adorned with words marked in red, labeling them 'traitors and agents of the I.S.F.,'" the NYT reports.
"Afterward, the militants strung up the bodies of their victims from electricity poles around the city — a practice the Islamic State long used to strike fear into those who live in the group's strongholds."
U.N. officials have also raised concerns that the terrorists have used chemical warfare agents in their attacks in Iraq and Syria, though laboratory tests continue.
Last week, a Roman Catholic priest who has been helping Christians, Yazidis, and other religious minorities who are facing genocide in Iraq and Syria, told The Christian Post that refugees fleeing Mosul have confirmed to his organization, Action Yazidis, that IS jihadists have been using civilians as human shields in Mosul.
What is more, Father Patrick Desbois, who for decades has been researching the Holocaust and fighting anti-Semitism, told CP that IS is using a "very special" strategy to carry out its decimation of entire people groups.
"They dislocate the families, they take the newborn babies, and they put them in Islamist families," he said, explaining that young boys are trained as terrorists, and "forced to put bombs" on streets, and carry out other atrocities.
There have been many reports of IS child soldiers executing prisoners, including a large-scale massacre in July 2015, when IS-trained children shot to death 25 men accused of being Syrian soldiers in a Roman amphitheater in the ancient Syrian city of Palmyra.
The video showed the executioners appearing to be in their preteen to teenage years, standing behind each prisoner holding handguns to the back of their heads, before the executions began.