Fears for Fallujah ‘disappeared’

Shi'ite militiamen who fought alongside the Iraqi army in the battle for Fallujah are believed to have seized some 900 civilian men and boys and killed nearly 50. UN human rights chief Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein said the civilians were detained June 1 during the battle to oust ISIS from the Sunni-majority city. They were among some 8,000 who fled the outlying village of Saqlawiyah as troops moved in on the city. Fighters from Kataaib Hezbollah, one of several Shi'ite militias involved in the siege, reportedly tortured many detainees. Al-Hussein also warned Iraq could see a return to full scale sectarian violence after the July 3 Baghdad attack. (BBC NewsThe Independent, July 5)

ISIS claimed a new triple suicide attack July 7 near a Shi'ite mausoleum north of Baghdad that killed at least 35 people and wounded 60 others. After the attack on the Mausoleum of Sayid Mohammed bin Ali al-Hadi in the town of BaladMoqtada al-Sadr ordered his militia, the Peace Brigade, to deploy around the holy site. (The Guardian, July 7)