>> Reuters has heard how Islamic State are using food as a bargaining chip to lure civilians into their ranks. Iraqis, fleeing IS held Fallujah as government and allied forces advance on the city, have retold harrowing stories of starvation and survival. Many now sheltering in a school east of the city now acting as a refugee center.
Reuters correspondents Saif Hameed, spoke to families there.>> Islamic state offered to civilians a sack of flour in exchange for one of their sons joining their ranks. Most families refused this offer and had to flee to save their families. Some families also mentioned that they have spent weeks or months without any access to rice, flour or cooking oil.
The only thing they had in their possession was stale dates. And even that was very hard to come by.>> The ultra hardline group have controlled Fallujah since 2014. Tens of thousands of civilians are said to be trapped there with limited access to water, food, and electricity. But those that have fled life under militant rule, may still not be safe.
The UN announcing Tuesday, they have credible reports of Iraqi men and boys being abused or even killed after they've escaped, facing so-called security screenings by armed groups working alongside local security forces.>> We've had reports that some of the men and sort of teenage boys, being separated from the women, are being interrogated, not in a kind of legal process of any sort.
And in some cases, physically maltreated, beaten, abused, threatened and so on. Seemingly to get some kind of forced confession out of them that they are members of ISIL or DAESH.>> There's deep suspicion that militants are hiding among fleeing families. But in a country with such fragile sectarian fault lines, reports such as this are likely to only raise tensions.