Hindustan Times (Delhi)

Iraq hangs 36 for Tikrit massacre

- Agencies letters@hindustant­imes.com

NASIRIYAH: Iraq on Sunday hanged 36 men convicted over the 2014 massacre of hundreds of military recruits, officials said.

They had been found guilty of involvemen­t in the “Speicher” massacre, named after a base near Tikrit where up to 1,700 recruits were kidnapped before being executed in a massacre claimed by the Islamic State.

“The executions of 36 convicted over the Speicher crime were carried out this morning in Nasiriyah prison,” a spokesman for the governor’s office in Dhiqar, the province of which Nasiriyah is the capital, told AFP.

“The governor of Dhiqar, Yahya al-Nasseri and justice minister Haidar al-Zamili were present to oversee the executions,” Abdelhassa­n Dawood said.

“They were transferre­d to Nasiriyah last week after the president approved the executions,” he said, referring to the necessary green light from Fuad Masum.

Following the death of more than 300 people in the worst ever single bomb attack to strike Baghdad last month, Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi had said he wanted to expedite the execution of inmates sentenced to death in terrorism cases.

The Dhiqar governor confirmed to AFP that the executions were carried out by hanging. His spokesman said that around 400 of the Speicher massacre victims were from the Dhiqar province, which is predominan­tly Shia and located in Iraq’s south.

IS had captured the soldiers after seizing Saddam Hussein’s hometown of Tikrit in 2014. IS posted graphic images of gunmen shooting the men dead after forcing them to lie face-down in a shallow ditch.

The Speicher massacre sparked outrage across Iraq and partially fuelled the mobilizati­on of Shia militias in the fight against IS.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from India