Islamic State forces are committing atrocities amounting to crimes against humanity against minorities while Iraqi government forces have executed detainees and shelled civilian areas in acts that may constitute war crimes, the United Nations said on Monday.

UN Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights Flavia Pansieri, opening an emergency session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, said that the conflict is having a grave impact on Iraqi civilians, particularly women and children.

"Systematic and intentional attacks on civilians may constitute war crimes and crimes against humanity. Individuals, including commanders, are responsible for these acts," she said, referring to crimes committed by both sides.

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