#AceNewsServices (Exclusive) – IRAQ (Baghdad) – September 02 – Twelve people have been killed and 41 others were injured after two cars exploded in Iraq’s capital Baghdad, local media reported. Though this is just the tip of the iceberg and as recent reports confirm the numbers killed, maimed and sexually abused or displaced are growing daily.
A militant Islamist fighter gestures as he takes part in a military parade along the streets of Syria’s northern Raqqa province (Reuters)
The blasts took place five minutes apart in the south-western part of the city. Both vehicles used in the bombing were parked at the intersection of 20th and 30th streets in the al-Amil area.
The number of victims could rise, radio station Shafak FM cited a police spokesperson as saying. Iraq has been fighting off the attacks of Islamic State (IS), Sunni extremist group, since June.
The group has gained control over large parts of the country in the north, with a goal of taking over Baghdad. Earlier on Monday, the UN mission to the country said that at least 1,420 people have been killed and 1370 injured in violence in Iraq during August.
The figures did not include Anbar province.
Islamic State militants have carried out atrocities on “an unimaginable scale” over several months of fighting in Iraq, a UN official said in an emergency debate Monday. The UN agreed to send a commission to the country to investigate.
The UN Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights, Flavia Pansieri, who opened the debate in Geneva, said there is “strong evidence” that Islamic State (IS), formerly known as ISIS, groups have carried out numerous atrocities including killings, beheadings, torture, sexual abuse and conversions.
“The reports we have received reveal acts of inhumanity on an unimaginable scale. Systematic and intentional attacks on civilians may constitute war crimes and crimes against humanity. Individuals, including commanders, are responsible for these acts,” she said.
Displaced people from the minority Yazidi sect who fled the violence in the Iraqi town of Sinjar, wait for aid at an abandoned building that they are using as their main residence, outside the city of Dohuk (Reuters / Youssef Boudlal)
Pansieri added that she was particularly concerned with the persecution of Iraq’s religious minorities including the Shia, Yazidis, Christians and Turkmen.
“These communities have lived side by side, on the same soil, for centuries and in some cases for millennia,” she said, adding that IS has carried out ethnic and religious cleaning.
The Yazidis have suffered extremely harshly under IS. Many men who refused to convert to Islam were reportedly executed and at least 2,250 Yazidi women and children are being held as hostage, while others are used as sex slaves.
She added that Iraqi police and government forces had also committed acts that amounted to war crimes.
Government allied militias opened fire on a mosque in Khanaquin district north east of Baghdad, killing 73 men and boys and Iraqi police executed a number of detainees in Tal Afar.
Iraqi forces have also shelled towns and carried out airstrikes near Kirkuk, Fallujah, and Salahuddin, which killed and injured dozens of civilians.
The one day UN session was called by Iraq with the support of its allies and agreed to a request by Baghdad to send a team of UN experts to investigate the crimes committed since IS swept through Iraq in June.
Mohammad Shia al-Sudani, Iraq’s Human Rights Minister, told the session that IS was “oozing with barbarity” and threatened the make-up of his country and the entire world, but did not respond to allegations of atrocities carried out by Iraqi troops.
An Islamic State militant uses a loud-hailer to announce to residents of Tabqa city that Tabqa air base has fallen to Islamic State militants, in nearby Raqqa (Reuters / Stringer)
“The land of ancient Babylon is subjected to threats to its very independence, they are attempting to change its demographic and cultural composition,” he said.
ISIS is a "trans-national phenomenon that poses an imminent danger to all countries of the world, it defies all human rights principles and international law,” he added.
The Sunni Muslim Gulf states as well as the West have all denounced IS, although they bear some of the responsibility for its rapid rise to dominance for indirectly helping to create a situation in Iraq and to a lesser degree Syria, where such an organization could thrive.
“The organization has nothing to do with Islam, even if they carry the name,” said Jamal al-Ghunaim, Kuwait’s ambassador.
Contributions: Ace News Services.