January 23, 2017 / 12:55 PM / in 9 months

Iraq PM orders investigation into abuses reported in Mosul battle

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi is seen on a screen as he speaks via a videoconference during a ministerial summit to hold discussion on the future of Mosul city, post-Islamic State, in Paris, France, October 20, 2016. REUTERS/Regis Duvignau

BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi on Monday ordered an investigation into allegations that members of Iraq’s security forces and a Shi‘ite paramilitary group had kidnapped and abused civilians in the campaign to take back Mosul from Islamic State.

Abadi also called on field commanders to make sure no human rights violations were committed under the cover of the war operations, according to an official statement.

A recording circulated on social media and on the Qatar-based Al Jazeera network on Saturday perpetrating to show police officers summarily executing three unarmed men in a district of Mosul retaken from Islamic State.

On Jan. 5, Amnesty International said Iraq’s Popular Mobilization units were engaged in a “systematic pattern of violations,” including enforced disappearances, torture and unlawful killings targeting the Sunni community.

Popular Mobilization is a coalition of predominantly Iranian-trained Shi‘ite groups, formed in 2014 to take part in the war on Islamic State. It became officially part of the Iraqi armed forces last year.

A U.S.-led coalition is providing air and ground support to the Iraqi forces in their campaign to take back Mosul from the hardline Sunni group, which captured the city in 2014 and declared a caliphate that also spanned parts of Syria.

Reporting by Maher Chmaytelli; Editing by Angus MacSwan

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