Iraq's Interior Ministry has launched an investigation into human rights violations carried out against civilians by its special forces while fighting the Islamic State in Mosul. The allegations were initially reported by Ali Arkady, an Iraqi photographer with Der Spiegel who accompanied the Interior Ministry's Emergency Response Division (ERD), a unit closely backed by the US-led coalition. During operations against IS, Arkady said he witnessed the killing, torture and rape of suspects. Arkady's piece featured photos of torture scenes that included people hanging from ceilings with their arms tied behind their backs. After days of such abuse, ERD commanders would execute the detainees with a technique Arkady says the unit's personnel learned from US instructors during military training. Brig. Gen Saad Maan, the Interior Ministry's spokesman, said "legal measures will be applied…against wrongdoers."
Note: Semi-official paramilitary forces under command of the Interior Ministry have also been accused of grave rights violations in the battle for Mosul.
Ramadan terror in Baghdad
The relenltess terror campaign in Baghdad continues, now barely winning headlines. Twin bombings claimed by ISIS killed at least 27 in the Iraqi capital as Ramadan opened May 30. One suicide attack struck a popular ice cream shop in the predominently Shi'ite Karrada district where people had gathered to break their fast. ISIS propaganda website Amaq said the suicide bomber targeted a "gathering of Shia." The other, a car bomb, targeted a pension office in Shawaka district. (AFP, LWJ, Al Jazeera)