The UN says militant Islamist group Isis has ordered all women and girls in Mosul, northern Iraq, to undergo female genital mutilation (FGM).
UN official Jacqueline Badcock said the fatwa, or religious edict, applied to females between the ages of 11 and 46.
She said the unprecedented decree issued by the Islamists in control of the city was of grave concern.
Iraq is facing a radical Isis-led Sunni insurgency, with cities in the north-west under militant control.
The ritual cutting of girls’ genitals is practised by some African, Middle Eastern and Asian communities in the belief it prepares them for adulthood or marriage.
FGM poses many health risks to women, including severe bleeding, problems urinating, infections, infertility and increased risk of newborn deaths in childbirth.