The Latest: Iraq investigating after images of Mosul abuses

By The Associated Press | Posted - Jul. 13, 2017 at 2:17 p.m.


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BAGHDAD (AP) — The Latest on the situation following the declaration of full victory over the Islamic State group in Mosul (all times local):

11:15 p.m.

Iraqi officials say they are aware of images circulating online showing Iraqi forces abusing suspected Islamic State militants in Mosul and that an investigation is underway.

Brig. Gen Saad Maan, spokesman for Iraq's Interior Ministry, told Pentagon reporters Thursday that "we looked and suspended a number of those forces shown in those pictures and there is currently an investigation being conducted."

He was speaking through an interpreter in a video conference.

He added that "there might be some misbehavior or inappropriate conduct by some of the forces, yes, but the investigation is going on. We are against any violation against any human being and this is the position of the government."

Brig. Gen. Yahya Rasool, an Iraq military spokesman, says anyone found to have violated human rights "will be held accountable militarily and we will be really severe."

Human Rights Watch has condemned videos circulating on social media purportedly showing Iraqi forces killing and beating suspected militants.

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6:15 p.m.

Human Rights Watch has condemned videos circulating on social media purportedly showing Iraqi forces killing and beating men suspected of being Islamic State group fighters.

Two videos seen by The Associated Press were posted to Facebook a day after Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi declared "total victory" in Mosul.

In one of the videos posted on Tuesday, soldiers throw a man over the side of a rooftop and shoot his body after he hits the ground.

In another, a man in Iraqi army fatigues guns down an unarmed man kneeling in front of a car.

Human Rights Watch Iraq researcher Belkis Wille said on Thursday that "these horrific reports of mistreatment and murder have been met by silence from Baghdad, only further fostering the feeling of impunity among armed forces in Mosul."

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11:35 a.m.

Human Rights Watch says Iraqi security forces have forcibly relocated dozens of families with alleged links to Islamic State group.

Authorities describe the camp they were moved to as a "rehabilitation camp."

In a statement issued on Thursday, the rights group says the camp is located in Bartella, around 20 kilometers (12 miles) east of Mosul, and houses at least 170 families, mostly women and children from areas of west of Mosul where the last fight took place.

Citing interviews with some families, HRW says they were brought against their will because of accusations that they had relatives linked to ISIS. HRW Deputy Middle East director, Lama Fakih, described it as "abusive acts" and "war crimes."

Iraq's Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi declared "total victory" in Mosul on Monday.

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