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Aug 30, 3:03 AM EDT

HRW: Iraqi militias recruiting children ahead of Mosul push

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IRBIL, Iraq (AP) -- An International human rights group says Iraqi militias are recruiting children from camps for civilians displaced by conflict ahead of the long-awaited operation to retake militant-held Mosul.

Human Rights Watch said Tuesday, citing testimony from witnesses and relatives, that two tribal militias in the Kurdish region of Iraq recruited children from a camp south of Irbil and drove them away to a town near Mosul.

The group said the recruits are intended to reinforce frontline positions in Nineveh province, where Mosul is located.

Iraq's prime minister has pledged that Mosul will be retaken from IS this year. After a string of territorial defeats over the past year, Mosul, Iraq's second largest city, is the last major urban territory IS holds in the country.

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