Amanda Casanova | Religion Today Contributing Writer | Friday, June 27, 2014
Earlier this month Iraqi militants executed at least 160 captured men in the northern city of Tikrit, Human Rights Watch reported Friday. 190 men or more could have been killed in the mass executions.
“The number of victims may well be much higher, but the difficulty of locating bodies and accessing the area has prevented a full investigation,” the report said.
The Islamic extremist group posted graphic photos online of the captured soldiers being loaded onto flatbed trucks and being forced to lie in a shallow ditch. Other photos show bodies.
Captions on the photos read they “hundreds have been liquidated.”
“This is the fate that awaits the Shiites sent by Nouri to fight the Sunnis,” another caption read.
“The photos and satellite images from Tikrit provide strong evidence of a horrible war crime that needs further investigation,” Peter Bouckaert, emergencies director at Human Rights Watch, said in a statement.
Human Rights Watch representatives said they used satellite images from 2013 and the posted photos to pinpoint the execution site in a field next to the Tigris river.
The humanitarian group said the satellite imagery did not show bodies but showed remnants of the shallow trenches.
Publication date: June 27, 2014