Second case rape allegations for Iraqi army

Four Iraqi soldiers have been accused of raping a 50-year-old Sunni woman and the attempted rape of her two daughters.
It is the second allegation of sexual assault levelled against Iraqi forces this week.

Brig. Gen. Nijm Abdullah said the attack allegedly occurred about 10 days ago in the northern city of Tal Afar during a search for weapons and insurgents.

A lieutenant and three enlisted men denied the charge, but later confessed after they were confronted by the woman, a Turkoman.

Brig. Abdullah said a fifth soldier suspected something was wrong, burst into the house and forced the others at gunpoint to stop the assault.

“They have been referred to the judicial authorities so they can receive their just punishment,” said Brig. Abdullah, who effectively serves as mayor of the city.

A tribal leader from Tal Afar, Sheikh Mohammed Khalil Hanash of the Hawyat clan, said the alleged attack took place on February 8. He said the woman told him that the officer’s only role in the alleged attack was filming it with a mobile phone video camera.

Regardless of the truth, a second allegation within a single week is likely to undermine further the reputation of Iraq’s security services, which the US hopes can take over from coalition troops so the Americans and their allies can go home.

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