The aim is to prevent Muslim women from being confused with elements of the extremist Islamic State group. To this end, Iraqi police have banned them from using niqab.

Sam Stephenson / EPA

Iraqi police have banned Mosul women from wearing niqab, a veil that leaves only their eyes uncovered, to avoid being confused with elements of the extremist Islamic State (IS) group during the offensive to liberate the city.

This measure was taken on Thursday because of jihadists infiltrating civilians dressed in niqab and attacking residents, said Nineveh province police chief Mosul, Brigadier General Wazeq al-Hamadani in Statements to EFE.

The general said that several elements of the EI had been detained trying to pass checkpoints dressed in this way. Wazeq al Hamadani also said that the EI, during the occupation of the city, the second largest in Iraq, forced women to use niqab.

In addition, residents were asked not to move about after 6 pm and to inform police about people suspected of belonging to the extremist group. It was also decided that mobile phone shop owners will not be able to sell SIM cards to those who do not have official identification documents.

Iraqi government forces launched an offensive in October to recover Mossul from the EI, and in January succeeded in freeing the eastern part of the city, which is divided in half by the Tigris River. The EI lost almost the entire city and resists only in the historical zone.



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