IRBIL, Iraq – A militia backed by the Iraqi government killed suspected Islamic State fighters it had captured during the operation to retake the militant-held city of Mosul, according to an international human rights monitoring group.
The Hashed al-Jabour militia, made up of Sunni tribal fighters and members of the Popular Mobilization Forces, killed four men it had captured in a village north of Mosul in November, according to a report published Sunday from New York-based Human Rights Watch. The report said witnesses to the incident said the men were shot in the presence of Iraqi security forces without any judicial proceedings.
The Popular Mobilization Forces are an umbrella group of mostly Shiite militias who have been formally brought under the control of the government, but have repeatedly been accused of abuses of civilians.
In comments broadcast on state television Saturday, Iraq's Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said he had not received any "complaints" about the Popular Mobilization Forces. Al-Abadi also described the Mosul fight as "clean" and moving forward at a "good pace."
Human Rights Watch has previous accused Sunni militias participating in the Mosul operation of recruiting males younger than 18 for the fight. The group has also accused the Shiite militias operating under the PMF umbrella group of carrying out abuses against civilians in majority Sunni towns and cities.
The prime minister's office has previously investigated individual militia fighters after allegations of abuse in past operations against IS.