The Islamic State group has ordered females in its territory in Iraq to undergo female circumcision, the UN's resident and humanitarian coordinator in Iraq has said - a claim rejected by activists linked to the group.
Jacqueline Badcock said on Thursday the decree was issued to residents between 11 and 46 years old living in and around the city of Mosul. The decree would potentially affect four million women and girls, she said.
"This is something very new for Iraq, particularly in this area, and is of grave concern and does need to be addressed," she said during a news conference from Erbil.
"This is not the will of Iraqi people, or the women of Iraq in these vulnerable areas covered by the terrorists."
The decree was posted on Twitter, but its authenticity was rejected by Islamic State affiliated websites and Twitter accounts.
When asked by Al Jazeera when the group would issue a statement, one Islamic State sympathiser said: "They have better things to do with their time than retracting bogus claims."
However, local reports suggest that it was not issued by the Islamic State group, and a statement had not been issued by its media division.
The Islamic State group took over large parts of Iraq last month.
Minorities, such as Christians and Shias, have been leaving Mosul after the group took control. It issued a decree last week ordering Christians to convert, pay a Christian tax, leave Mosul or face death.
Source: Al Jazeera and agencies