The Asian Age
UN says Aug. toll 1,420, accusing both Iraq, militants of atrocities
Baghdad/ Beirut/ Geneva, Sept. 1: Violence in Iraq killed at least 1,420 people during the month of August as the UN blamed both sides of atrocities in the ongoing Iraq conflict.
At least 1,370 people were wounded during the same period, the United Nations’ Iraq mission said on Monday.
It said the figures did not include Anbar province, west of Baghdad, and that there were difficulties in verifying incidents in areas where there was fighting or which were outside government control.
The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant ( ISIS), now known as the Islamic State, has carried out atrocities on “an unimaginable scale” in months of fighting with Iraqi forces who have also killed detainees and shelled civilian areas, a UN official said in an emergency debate on the conflict on Monday.
Iraq’s human rights minister, Mohammed Shia’ Al Sudani, told the session that ISIS militants, “oozing with barbarity”, threatened his country and the world, but did not immediately respond to allegations against state troops.
The one- day session, called by Iraq with the support of allies including the United States, is expected to agree to Baghdad’s request to send a team of UN experts to investigate crimes committed in the conflict.
There is “strong evidence” ISIS and allied groups have carried out targeted killings, forced conversions, sexual abuse and torture in Iraq, UN deputy high commissioner for human rights Flavia Pansieri said, opening the debate in Geneva.
“The reports we have received reveal acts of inhumanity on an unimaginable scale,” she told the UN Human Rights Council, on its first meeting about the latest surge in violence. She later told Reuters she was referring to the ISIS.
Iraqi government forces and the police had also committed acts that may amount to war crimes, Ms Pansieri said.
Meanwhile, Human Rights Watch said ISIS jihadists have used cluster munitions in Syria in at least one location and Syria’s regime is continuing to use the widely banned weapon.
Cluster munitions contain dozens or hundreds of small bomblets and can be fired in rockets or dropped from the air.