BAGHDAD, May 24 (Xinhua) -- Iraq's Interior Ministry on Wednesday ordered an investigation into reports that security forces battling Islamic State (IS) militants in western Mosul tortured and killed civilians suspected to be IS members.
"The Interior Minister ordered to form a committee to verify the credibility of the reports by the German newsmagazine Der Spiegel, including information about violation of human rights by the Rapid Response forces in Nineveh Province," the ministry said in a statement.
The minister instructed the investigators to conduct a clear and impartial investigation and present the facts before the minister once completed in order to take legal proceedings against the perpetrators, according to the statement.
The German magazine first reported the allegations last weekend, releasing photos of an Iraqi photographer embedded with the Rapid Response forces as evidence.
The allegations came as the Iraqi security forces, backed by anti-IS international coalition, are carrying out a major offensive to drive out the IS militants from their major stronghold in the western side of Mosul, the capital of Iraq's northern province of Nineveh.
Mosul, 400 km north of Iraq's capital Baghdad, has been under IS control since June 2014, when government forces abandoned their weapons and fled, enabling IS militants to take control of parts of Iraq's northern and western regions.