Sunni militants from the Islamic State have ordered all girls and women aged 11 to 46 in and around the city of Mosul to undergo female genital mutilation, the UN reported. The potential number of victims is estimated at 4 million.
The shocking news, adding to an already long list of crimes reportedly committed by the militants since the takeover of northern Iraq last month, was broken by UN resident and humanitarian coordinator in Iraq, Jacqueline Badcock.
“This is something very new for Iraq, particularly in this area, and is of grave concern and does need to be addressed,” she told reporters in Geneva by videolink from Arbil on Thursday.
“This is not the will of Iraqi people, or the women of Iraq in these vulnerable areas covered by the terrorists,” she added.
The Islamic State, formerly known as ISIS, has taken over large portions of Iraq with the goal of establishing a fundamentalist Sunni Islamic state in the territories of Iraq and Syria. Since then they have launched a campaign to cleanse ethnic and religious minorities in the territory they control, sending thousands of refugees fleeing for their lives.