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Amnesty Calls For End Of Arms Transfers Fueling War Crimes In Iraq

Amnesty says Shi'ite militias in Iraq have used imported arms "to facilitate the enforced disappearance and abduction of thousands" of Sunnis (file photo).

Amnesty International says paramilitary militias fighting alongside Iraqi armed forces against the Islamic State (IS) group are committing atrocities using weapons provided to the Iraqi military by at least 16 countries -- including the United States, European states, Russia, and Iran.

In a report released on January 5, the London-based group says the predominantly Shi'ite militias have "used those arms to facilitate the enforced disappearance and abduction of thousands of mainly Sunni men and boys, torture, and extrajudicial executions as well as wanton destruction of property."

Amnesty has called on states selling arms to Iraq to put measures in place to ensure the weapons are not used by militias to violate rights.

Iraqi and Western officials have also expressed serious concerns about the government's ability to bring the Shi'ite militias under greater control.

Based on reporting by Reuters and AFP