The Islamic State's police force has killed a 10-year-old girl in Mosul using a metal torture device that rips apart flesh as punishment for stepping outside her home unaccompanied by a male family member.
The Russian news outlet Sputnik Arabic has been credited by U.K. news sites as reporting that 10-year-old Fatan was punished by IS (also known as ISIS, ISIL and Daesh) for stepping outside of the threshold of her home in the group's shrinking Iraqi stronghold while she was cleaning.
In some strict Muslim cultures, it is considered against Sharia law for a female to leave her home without being accompanied by her father, husband or a male relative.
According to the Daily Mail, the mother was asked by police to choose whether she or her daughter would endure the punishment. Because she did not think the punishment would be fatal, she chose her daughter.
A 20-year-old witness who did not disclose her name told Sputnik that after the mother chose the daughter, the police force broke out a medieval-like metal torture device with jaws that rip apart flesh and was allegedly doused with poison.
The device was used to kill Fatan who bled out and died.
The witness explained that young girls in Mosul are more likely to be targeted by IS' morality police, as the group has strict rules on how women and girls must dress and conduct themselves in public.
"I never felt like I was a human being. Why all of this black clothing?" the witness asked, speaking about being forced to wear a full burqa and gloves. "It's like I'm getting into a bag and it's closed on me so I can't even breathe or enjoy the sun."
The witness also detailed the story of another woman who died after she received 30 lashes when she was caught lifting the veil from her face to inspect goods at a local market.
This is not the first time that IS' morality police has reportedly used a torturous biting device to punish women accused of violating IS' law.
In December 2014, the Syrian media activist website Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently reported how IS' all-female police force in its de-facto capital used a torture device called a "biter" to punish a 24-year-old mother who was found breastfeeding in public.
Unlike the 10-year-old girl, the mother survived her punishment.
"They took me to the 'Hisba' headquarters in the city, and escorted me to the torture chamber, then they asked me to choose between a whip or a 'biter,'" the woman was quoted as saying. "I did not know what a 'biter' was and I thought it is a reduced sentence. I was afraid of whipping, so I chose the 'biter.' Then, they brought a sharp object that has a lot of teeth and held me, placing it on my chest and pressing it strongly. I screamed from pain and I was badly injured. They later took me to the hospital."
Reports of the "biter" emerged again last February when a woman who escaped from IS in Mosul and fled to Kurdistan told The Independent that her sister was victimized by the "biter."
"The Biter has become a nightmare for us," the woman explained. "My sister was punished so harshly last month because she had forgotten her gloves and left them at home."
Although IS has maintained control of Mosul and its surrounding areas since the summer of 2014, Iraqi-led coalition forces are in the midst of an offensive to liberate Mosul and push IS out of its largest Iraqi stronghold.
Since it began last October, the coalition offensive has pushed IS out of much of the eastern part of the city and a number of villages in the Nineveh Plains but IS still holds ground in western Mosul.
"This steady progress should not conceal that fighting has been and will be a massive challenge, in particular inside the old city in western Mosul," Yahoo News quoted United Nations envoy Jan Kubis as saying. "Yet in the rather short foreseeable future, the liberation operations in Iraq are coming to an end — the days of the so-called ISIL are counted."