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Iraqi Clash; Sunnis Insurgents Posted Pictures of Killed National Soldiers

The Iraqi Sunnis insurgents who have captured much of northern part of the country have posted pictures showing shooting of scores of the captured national soldiers in a province north of the capital Baghdad.

The pictures on the dissidents – Levant or ISIL website showed masked fighters, loading the captives onto flatbed trucks before forcing them to face-down in a shallow ditch with their arms tied behind their backs. The final images appeared to show the bodies of the captives soaked in blood after being shot.

The insurgents claimed the killings were to avenge the death of an ISIL Commander, Abdul-Rahman al-Beilawy, whose death was reported by both the government and ISIL shortly before the al-Qaida splinter group captured Iraq’s second largest city of Mosul and the late leader, Saddam Hussein’s hometown of Tikrit in a lightning offensive.

Iraq’s top military spokesman, Lt. Gen. Qassim al-Moussawi, confirmed the photos’ authenticity on Sunday and said he was aware of cases of mass murder of captured Iraqi soldiers in areas held by ISIL.

United Nations (UN) human rights Chief, Navi Pillay warned last Friday of “murder of all kinds” and other war crimes in Iraq saying causality in recent days may run into the hundreds, while the wounded was about 1,000. She said in Geneva, that her office has received reports that the militants have rounded up and killed Iraqi soldiers as well as 17 civilians on a single street in Mosul.

Most of the soldiers who appear in the pictures were in civilian clothes, with military uniforms appearing underneath their mufti, which was an indication that they may have attempted to disguise so as to escape.

Many soldiers and policemen left their uniforms and equipment behind as the militants swept into Mosul, Tikrit and adjourning areas.

However, the picture captions did not indicate a date or location, but al-Moussawi said the killings took place in Salahuddin province, the capital of Tikrit.

Meanwhile, latest reports have indicated that the Iraqi government forces, backed by Shia Muslim and Kurdish militias, are reportedly holding back an advance by Sunni militants north of Baghdad. Reports BBC News.

A number of towns have been retaken from the rebels, but they still control the key cities of Tikrit and Mosul.

In one town that changed hands, Ishaq, security forces said they had found the incinerated bodies of 12 policemen. A US aircraft carrier has been deployed to the Gulf in response to the escalated violence.

US Secretary of State John Kerry has warned that American assistance in tackling any offensive would only succeed if Iraqi leaders are willing to put aside their differences.

Elsewhere, former UK Prime Minister, Tony Blair was quoted as saying “Don’t believe washing our hands of it and walking away will solve the problem”

AE source indicated that government forces were building up in the city of Samarra, apparently preparing for a counter-offensive designed to drive rebels out of Saddam Hussein’s hometown, Tikrit, to the north.

Sunday morning saw three Iraqi soldiers and three Shia militiamen killed in a mortar attack on a military recruitment centre near the city of Baquba, north-east of Baghdad.

And in an overnight clash in the town of Jalawla, a government helicopter strike killed seven Kurdish fighters who had moved into positions evacuated earlier by Sunni rebels. Iraqi government officials said the attack was a mistake.

Iraq’s most senior Shia cleric, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, has allagedly issued a call for arms to fellow Shia, and there are reports that thousands have already joined militias.






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