The Asian Age

UN says Aug. toll 1,420, ac­cus­ing both Iraq, mil­i­tants of atroc­i­ties

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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.

 ?? — AFP ?? UN sol­diers ob­serve Syria’s Quneitra prov­ince at an ob­ser­va­tion point near the bor­der with Syria on Mon­day.
— AFP UN sol­diers ob­serve Syria’s Quneitra prov­ince at an ob­ser­va­tion point near the bor­der with Syria on Mon­day.

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