World

UN rights chief says Islamic State fighters' abuses in Iraq amount to crimes against humanity

  • FILE - In this Friday, Dec. 28, 2012 file photo, Muslims arrive to attend the Friday prayer at Al-Azhar mosque in Cairo, Egypt. Dar el-Ifta, the top Islamic authority in Egypt, revered by many Muslims worldwide, launched Sunday an internet-based campaign aimed particularly at the West against an extremist group in Syria and Iraq, saying it is not an “Islamic State.” The Grand Mufti of Egypt, Shawki Allam, and clerics from the oldest Islamic learning institute, Al-Azhar, have condemned the Islamic State saying it was violating all Islamic principles and laws, describing it as a danger to the religion. (AP Photo/Khalil Hamra, File)

    FILE - In this Friday, Dec. 28, 2012 file photo, Muslims arrive to attend the Friday prayer at Al-Azhar mosque in Cairo, Egypt. Dar el-Ifta, the top Islamic authority in Egypt, revered by many Muslims worldwide, launched Sunday an internet-based campaign aimed particularly at the West against an extremist group in Syria and Iraq, saying it is not an “Islamic State.” The Grand Mufti of Egypt, Shawki Allam, and clerics from the oldest Islamic learning institute, Al-Azhar, have condemned the Islamic State saying it was violating all Islamic principles and laws, describing it as a danger to the religion. (AP Photo/Khalil Hamra, File)  (The Associated Press)

  • People hold a photograph of James Foley, the freelance journalist killed by the IS group, during a memorial service in Irbil, 350 kilometers (220 miles) north of Baghdad, Iraq, Sunday, Aug. 24, 2014.  Foley, the U.S. journalist slain by Islamic State militants after being held in captivity for nearly two years, was remembered in a small ceremony in Irbil on Sunday. (AP Photo/ Marko Drobnjakovic)

    People hold a photograph of James Foley, the freelance journalist killed by the IS group, during a memorial service in Irbil, 350 kilometers (220 miles) north of Baghdad, Iraq, Sunday, Aug. 24, 2014. Foley, the U.S. journalist slain by Islamic State militants after being held in captivity for nearly two years, was remembered in a small ceremony in Irbil on Sunday. (AP Photo/ Marko Drobnjakovic)  (The Associated Press)

U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay says Islamic State fighters reportedly killed up to 670 prisoners in Mosul and committed other horrific abuses in Iraq that amount to crimes against humanity.

The U.N.'s top human rights official says the grave human rights violations carried out by the Islamic State group and other fighters allied with it include ruthlessly carrying out widespread ethnic and religious purges in areas under its control in an aggressive push to gain a firm grip on the northern and eastern provinces.

Pillay said a statement Monday the violations include targeted killings, forced conversions, abductions, trafficking, slavery, sexual abuse, destruction of places of religious and cultural significance, and besieging entire communities for ethnic, religious or sectarian reasons.