(WARNING GRAPHIC CONTENT)
30 Sunni men are paraded through Iraqi town before being brutally shot dead
Militants from the Islamic State lined up 30 Sunni men in a town west of Baghdad and shot them dead this morning, an Iraqi official and residents said.
The slayings took place on a main street in al-Bakir district in the town of Hit, which has been the scene of intense fighting by jihadis and local resistance groups in recent weeks.
It is understood the murdered men were mainly local tribal leaders who had allied with the Iraqi government and were helping to organise anti-ISIS operations in the embattled town.
The militants first paraded the men through town, shouting through loudspeakers that the captured men were apostates who fought against them, residents said.
The extremists then lined up the men and shot them dead with assault rifles, residents said.
A photograph showed a line of the men’s bodies by a small pool of blood as onlookers walked by.
Anbar provincial council chairman, Sabah Karhout, said the Sunnis killed were tribal fighters allied with the government and members of the security forces.
The men were captured when ISIS terrorists overran the town, which sits on the Euphrates river and is located about 85 miles west of the Iraqi capital.
Karhout called the slayings ‘a crime against humanity’ and demanded more international support for the Sunni tribes fighting the militants in Anbar province.
Iraq is in its worst crisis since the 2011 withdrawal of U.S. troops as Sunni militant groups led by ISIS seized a third of the country.
In one lightning offensive over the summer, Iraq’s U.S.-trained army and security forces melted away as the extremists advanced and captured key cities and towns in country’s north.
In Iraq and along with areas in eastern Syria, the militants have declared a self-styled caliphate and imposed their own harsh interpretation of Shariah law.
They also have targeted the country’s religious minorities, including Christians and others, killing hundreds and forcing hundreds of thousands to leave their homes.
A U.S.-led coalition has been targeting Islamic State extremists with airstrikes.
U.S. Central Command said the coalition launched six airstrikes in Iraq over yesterday and this morning using jet fighters and drones, hitting targets near Fallujah and Sinjar.
In other violence today, police said a roadside bomb exploded near an army patrol in a town just south of Baghdad, killing three soldiers and wounding seven.
A later bomb blast on a commercial street in Baghdad’s eastern district of Ur killed two people and wounded eight, police said. Medical officials confirmed the casualties.
All officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to journalists, while the residents of Hit requested their names not be used out of fears of reprisal.
Source: Daily Mail / Oct. 29, 2014