Islamic State forcing children to become informers and carry out suicide bombings, UN says

Somini Sengupta and Rick Gladstone, The New York Times |September 2, 2014 10:54 AM ET

An Iraqi soldier kisses a child in Amerli on September 1, 2014 after Iraqi forces broke through to the jihadist-besieged Shiite town the previous day, where thousands of people have been trapped for more than two months with dwindling food and water supplies.

AFP PHOTO / JM LOPEZAn Iraqi soldier kisses a child in Amerli on September 1, 2014 after Iraqi forces broke through to the jihadist-besieged Shiite town the previous day, where thousands of people have been trapped for more than two months with dwindling food and water supplies.

UNITED NATIONS – The top U.N. advocate for children afflicted by war said Monday that the Islamic State was using them as informers, checkpoint sentries and, in some cases, suicide bombers.

The advocate, Leila Zerrougui, the special representative of the secretary general for children and armed conflict, also said that the United Nations had received reports that the Islamic State had abducted girls from minority communities and forced them into marriage, but that it had been unable to verify those reports.

Zerrougui made the assertions at a special session of the U.N. Human Rights Council in Geneva on the Islamic State’s actions in Iraq. The group, which has proclaimed a strict Sunni Islamic state that spans the Syria-Iraq border, has imposed severe rules on behaviour and has been accused of a litany of brutalities against non-Sunni groups, including summary mass executions.

The U.N. deputy high commissioner for human rights, Flavia Pansieri, told the Human Rights Council that the Islamic State had ordered strict rules for women living in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul and other areas in its control.

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