According to Reuters, Islamic State (IS) militants in Iraq's northwest Nineveh province have created a police force to "implement the orders of the religious judiciary," according to a well-known militant Islamist website.
Photos on the website showed armed men in black clothing with "Islamic Police Nineveh State” embossed on their arms. IS militants are also driving freshly painted police cars and one photo depicted militiamen on a river boat.
The text on the website said the force would "maintain order and arrest culprits and the corrupt." The text said it would be different from police forces in other states, which it described as "a tool to suppress dissent."
COMMENT: Residents in Nineveh told REUTERS the police's main duty appears to be to detain people they consider opposed to their cause.
IS police have set up checkpoints on roads and conducted house raids, the residents said. One photo showed a blindfolded man being escorted into a prison.
Islamic State took the Iraqi cities of Mosul, in Nineveh, and Tikrit in June and has announced an Islamic Caliphate in areas it controls in Iraq and Syria.
Its fighters have shocked the world with execution-style killings of Sunnis, Shi'ites, Christians, Yazidis and Kurds. Western governments and Islamic countries fear their citizens who are fighting for IS could threaten national security if they return home.
US President Barack Obama has launched air strikes against IS in Iraq, although sorties are less than formidable.
UN human rights chief Zeid Ra'ad al Hussein urged world powers this month to protect women and minorities targeted by IS, saying its fighters were trying to create a "house of blood."
IS has gradually taken steps to govern since taking over Nineveh this year. In July, IS told Christians in Mosul to convert to Islam or pay a religious tax.
IS has issued an edict to change the school curriculum, scrapping classes in civics, history, fine arts and music. The word "nationalism" is a banned word under new rules.