Channel Nine News Reporter Mark Burrows gets caught up in the crossfire from Islamic State militants. Courtesy: Channel Nine
Under fire. Nine News senior correspondent Mark Burrows in Iraq. Picture: Nine News.
NINE News has reported that senior correspondent Mark Burrows has come under fire from Islamic State (IS) militants in Iraq.
Burrows was filming with cameraman Adam Bovino on the outskirts of Mosul early this morning when they encountered IS fighters.
Footage released by Nine News shows Burrows taking shelter from heavy gunfire behind a wall as a soldier appears to fire a rocket-propelled grenade toward the IS fighters.
Mark Burrows, left, during more relaxed times. Picture: Mark Burrows/Twitter.Source:Supplied
Burrows, who was uninjured, later tweeted, “We were filming as IS militants started firing. An Iraqi soldier opened up with a rocket-propelled grenade.”
A statement from Nine News said: “Burrows and his cameraman, Adam Bovino, have both been in Iraq for the past week, following the battle for the city of Mosul.
“They had only been at this position for a few minutes – just 8 kilometres from Mosul – when they encountered the IS fighters.
“Rocket-propelled grenades, tanks and Australian fighter jets were involved in the skirmish.”
Mosul hostages used as ‘human shields’
The battle came as Iraqi forces halted their advance on Mosul as it was revealed that IS is reportedly using tens of thousands of hostages as ‘human shields.’
“They are pausing and repositioning, refitting and doing some back clearing,” Colonel John Dorrian, a spokesman for the US-led coalition, told Pentagon reporters via video conference.
“We think it will just be a couple of days and then we are back on the march toward Mosul. That’s their game plan and we believe they will stick to it.”
The United Nations human rights office says IS appears to be using civilians in and around the Iraqi city of Mosul as “human shields.”
It has received reports of more than 200 people being killed for refusing to comply with IS orders or previously belonging to Iraqi security forces.
Spokeswoman Ravina Shamdasani said Friday in Geneva that “credible reports” suggest IS has been forcing tens of thousands from their homes in districts around Mosul.
Islamic States’ depraved method to defend Mosul is by using men, women and children as “human shields”.Source:AFP
She said: “ISIL’s depraved, cowardly strategy is to attempt to use the presence of civilian hostages to render certain points, areas or military forces immune from military operations, effectively using tens of thousands of women, men and children as human shields.”
Shamdasani says 232 people, mostly former officers, were reportedly shot Wednesday, and 24 Tuesday.
Coalition takes 40 villages from IS
Earlier, the US military said Iraqi forces have retaken 40 villages from IS near Mosul since a massive operation to drive the militants from the city began last week.
US Air Force Brig. Gen. Matthew C. Isler said on Friday that Iraqi troops are consolidating gains made east and south of the city earlier this week, but insisted “momentum” was still on their side.
The United Nations has received reports of more than 200 people being killed for refusing to comply with IS orders or previously belonging to Iraqi security forces. Picture: Carl Court.Source:Getty Images
The fight to retake Mosul, which fell to IS in a matter of days in the summer of 2014, is the largest military operation undertaken in Iraq since the 2003 US-led invasion.
Isler says the coalition has stepped up air strikes against the militants, and is carrying out three times as many as it did during previous campaigns to drive IS from other Iraqi cities.