Isis 'ordering female genital mutilation' in Iraq
Isis 'ordering female genital mutilation' in Iraq - UN
A top UN official in Iraq has said the Sunni Islamist group Isis controlling the city of Mosul is seeking to impose female genital mutilation.
All females aged 11 and 46 in the northern city must undergo the procedure, according to an Isis edict, UN official Jacqueline Badcock said.
She said the unprecedented decree was of grave concern.
Some bloggers suggest that the edict, or fatwa, may be a fabrication aimed at discrediting Isis.
Iraq is facing a radical Isis-led insurgency, with Mosul and other cities in the north-west under militant control.
The ritual cutting of girls' genitals is practised by some African, Middle Eastern and Asian communities in the belief it prepares them for adulthood or marriage.
FGM poses many health risks to women, including severe bleeding, problems urinating, infections, infertility and increased risk of newborn deaths in childbirth.
The UN General Assembly approved a resolution in December 2012 calling for all member states to ban the practice.
The Isis edict could affect nearly four million women and girls in and around the northern Iraqi city of Mosul, the UN warns.
Ms Badcock, the UN's resident and humanitarian coordinator in Iraq, said the practice "is something very new for Iraq... and does need to be addressed".
She was talking to reporters via video link from the Kurdish provincial capital of Irbil.
"This is not the will of Iraqi people, or the women of Iraq in these vulnerable areas covered by the terrorists," she added.
But some observers have cast doubt on the alleged FGM edict. Jenan Moussa, a correspondent for Dubai-based broadcaster Al AAan TV, said in a tweet that her contacts in Mosul had not heard of it.
Isis militants seized Mosul, Iraq's second largest city, in June, and have since taken over areas of the north-west and closed in on cities near Baghdad.
The order came as Isis asserts its power in northern Iraq and expands in Syria, imposing radical Islamic practices, says BBC Arab affairs editor Lina Sinjab.
Isis forced Christians in Mosul out of the city earlier this week and daubed their houses with the Arabic letter N to mark them out as Christians, apparently confiscating their properties, our correspondent adds.
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