Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Shiite villagers describe ‘massacre’ in northern Iraq

By Abigail Hauslohner, WashPost, June 23 at 8:17 PM

TAZA, Iraq — The villagers lowered 15 bodies into a mass grave here Monday. Two of the dead were young girls. The rest were men. All had been executed at point-blank range by al-Qaeda-inspired rebels and their allies, during what witnesses say was an attack aimed at destroying four Shiite Turkmen communities.

The accounts are among the first to emerge from the villages south of Kirkuk, where residents say a massacre was carried out last week by Sunni fighters with the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and people who live in nearby Sunni communities.

Human rights groups have expressed horror at a rising tide of sectarian violence in Iraq, including reports from ISIS-controlled areas of beheadings and executions of Shiite religious leaders, civilians and captured security forces. But the residents of the string of Shiite Turkmen villages provided some of the most detailed firsthand accounts of the insurgents’ brutality since ISIS fighters seized control of the northern city of Mosul two weeks ago.

(More here.)

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